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No Casino Operations for Newfoundland and Labrador

By: Russell Potvin , Tues. Sept. 08, 2015

No Casino for N&L

No new casino will be coming forward any time soon in Newfoundland and Labrador despite earlier indications that there could be.

CBC News ran a story at one point that said a previous finance minister had been working toward getting a casino launched in St. John's. This included having independent authorities look into what it would take to make it possible. The idea of a casino as a progressive move isn't anything new, but it's apparently not going to be happening any time soon according to comments by the current finance minister.

The Current Regime Regarding Casinos

Ross Wiseman is the current finance minister, and he's stated very clearly that he will not be pushing forward for any type of casino expansion. What's more is that he couldn't really offer much of an explanation about why a predecessor of his was looking into the possibility with such effort. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation was asked to perform an assessment on the viability of a casino in St. John's. As for now, the current N.L. casino ban instituted in 2003 by the Progressive Conservative party is still going to stand.

The Expansion of Online Gambling

It's important to note that Wiseman also said that there is no current interest in opening things up to online gambling either. This is a bit of a shame because it's putting players in a situation where the incentives are not matching up to the interest of the government. Many parts of Canada have regulated the industry and are using revenues to fund public projects, but Newfoundland and Labrador refuses to follow suit. For the time being, they are stuck a bit behind, and it's unclear if that will change anytime soon.

This creates a situation where players have a demand that's not being met, so they will play with foreign operators. This causes a problem since players have no recourse if their funds are taken unfairly, and it also keeps the government from receiving revenues for the play. It's a lose-lose situation under the current regime, and that will only change if they embrace online gambling and regulate the industry as best they can.