The Canadian province of Nova Scotia is expecting revenue from video lottery terminals (VLTs) which differ to Slots are to increase significantly over the next year. Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation reported its financial outlook as a part of the province’s budget last week in which it disclosed that sales from VLTs were estimated to be C$117,000,000 in 2015-16.
This is projected to rise to C$144,600,000 in 2016-2017. The gaming corporation said that the rise in revenue was because of the removal of the card-control system, My Play.
In a statement, Bob MacKinnon, CEO of Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation said,
The gaming corporation did indeed have over-budget results in 2015-2016. What we're seeing is the return of no and low-risk gamblers to the video lottery system.
In addition, we've replaced some terminals a couple of years ago and those terminals are resonating with players.
Loto-Québec – Page officielle
Introduced in 2010, the My-Play System was installed to prevent regular gamblers frombecoming addicted to VLTs but was discontinued in 2014. According to MacKinnon, the system was proving to be a barrier for low-risk gamblers, putting them off from playing VLTs. The removal of the system encouraged gamblers to return to VLTs. MacKinnon added that despite this increase, the revenue from VLTs had actually declined over the past decade.
John McMullan, a professor and gambling expert at Saint Mary's University stated that the rise in revenue could possibly point to existence of problem gambling. Expressing surprise at the numbers reported by the gaming corporation, he said that that if the numbers are correct then it indicates an enormous amount of wagering on VLTs.
McMullan said that he was not completely convinced that the large jump foreseen in revenue was a result of low-risk gamblers returning to play on VLTs. McMullan emphasised the need to provide gamblers with some form of safety measure to prevent addiction, suggesting that the state government explore the possibility of using modern technology to address the issue.
He also asserted that responsible gaming must be the top priority for the corporation. McMullan stated that problem gambling in the province was being measured regularly using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index. In the check done in 2007, the index showed that 0.9 per cent of the total number of Nova Scotia individuals surveyed were identified as problem gamblers and around 3.6 percent were seen to be low-risk gamblers.
According to MacKinnon,while the corporation will review its responsible gambling programs,the My-Play system will not be reconsidered.