Current Status of Online Gambling in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Province is conducting an online gambling poll among its gaming players. Minister Michael Samson proposed the idea with the objective of determining the behavior of players towards online gambling. The research, which will cost the Nova Scotia local government approximately 100,000 dollars is expected to help in designing regulations for the gambling industry. Michael Samson is responsible for the Gaming Control Acts. He hopes that the study will help him in coming up with an idea on how to put the online gambling industry in Nova Scotia under control. The research will sample an accurate number of Nova Scotia’s online gamblers. The minister was quoted saying that he plans to determine the actual number of Nova Scotians’ who gamble and how often they get involved with the activity.

The Nova Scotia local government plans to come up with standards, which all authorized online gambling sites will respect. The government also hopes to identify issues that affect online gambling in the province as well as helping the government on regulation. Online gambling in Nova Scotia has not been regulated since it was introduced. The research’s results are expected to introduce a possible regulation on the betting industry. The research questions in the study include how often Nova Scotians gamble online, how much they spend on betting, and what kind of games do they play? The MQO firm will be among the research companies that will conduct the study. The firm is expected to make 10,000 phone surveys among the online gamblers.

Other stakeholders that will conduct the study include the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Operations (NSPLCC). Stacy O’Rourke, the manager of the communications department of NSPLCC, will be in-charge of the survey. Stacy was quoted saying that the data that will be collected from the research will be crucial in determining the issues related to online gambling in Nova Scotia. Even though the hopes of coming up with regulations for the betting sites are high, the local government will face challenges when it comes to regulating the internet. However, Nova Scotia will focus on increasing accessibility to information for its citizens.

The study will focus on how gamblers have been betting in the last 12 months. The Nova Scotia Province established a Responsible Gambling Strategy in the year 2011. The Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Operations focused its activities on finding out the effects of gambling on the health and well-being of the participants. The NSPLCC was joined by the Department of Health and Wellness with the aim of determining the social and economic impacts on the people.

Regulation of online gambling in Nova Scotia

Bob Mackinnon, the president of Lotteries and Casino Corporation, stated that more than 10,000 surveys would be required to complete the survey. Mackinnon supports the study and hopes that it will help the government in deciding whether gambling is a problem in Nova Scotia or not. Although Mackinnon hopes the study will assist in the regulation of the betting industry, he was not sure on how that would be achieved. According to Mackinnon, the biggest challenge will be on how to regulate the internet. Mackinnon states that no one can successfully control the internet. According to the president of the Lotteries and Casino Corporation, the local government needs to come up with measures to provide the province residents with more information about gambling. Even the minister, Michael Samson, was not completely sure on how the province would be able to regulate the betting industry. The minister hopes that the data from the study will guide the Provincial Lottery Commission and Atlantic Lottery on how to regulate the industry.

Data collection was completed in December 2015. The recommendations of the survey are expected to be released in the course of the year, 2016.

A brief history of the Nova Scotia polls on the online gambling practice

The local government of the province moved against licensing the online betting sites in 2012. The government decided to release an official strategy to focus on conducting research to determine the trend of gambling in Nova Scotia. The province’s local government is against online gambling citing that Section 207 of the Criminal Code of Canada illegalizes the act of gambling using an offshore internet casino. The move by the local government faced an uphill task as residents moved to internationally-licensed betting sites to access gaming services. The online betting sites catered for the Canadian residents with sites and software designed in English and French languages. The betting sites also featured the Canadian Toll-Free Support numbers as well as accepting wagers in Canadian dollars. Ipsos conducted a study in 2010, and it found out that most Canadians have a belief that gambling is a legal activity.

Factors attracting the Nova Scotia residents to online gambling

Jackpots and Marketing

The internationally licensed online casinos include progressive jackpots that grow faster than those being offered locally in the province. The online casinos also carry out efficient and attractive marketing campaigns. Other marketing practices such as the welcome bonuses, the no deposit bonuses, the VIP treatment, and free spins offered on slot games attract the residents to take part in online gambling.

Nova Scotia Casino Slot Odds

Most residents prefer online betting casinos to the land-based casinos due to their attractive slots payout odds. The land-based casinos’ average percentage payout odds range between 85 and 90 percent. The internet gambling casinos typical slots payouts odds starts from 92 to 98 percent. Third party companies audit online gambling casinos on an annual basis, and the information is accessible to the public.

Diversity of Games and Software

The global appealing games offered by the online betting sites are more diverse than those found in the land-based casinos in Nova Scotia. The land-based casinos in the province cannot provide games such as the Dark Knight since the software providers do not license them. The love demonstrated by the Nova Scotians on online gambling shows that prohibition is not the right approach towards regulating the betting industry.

Written by: Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson has been reporting for Blog.ca for more than 8 years. He studied journalism at UGC and has published two books on how journalism influences the world.

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