The political debate continues to rage on over the advent of online gambling in several Canadian provinces. But somehow, the debate continues to lose its way in many ways.
The most recent bit of ridiculousness comes from Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele. Steele says Nova Scotia may launch its own gambling website to protect gaming addicts who are at “the mercy” of unregulated, offshore sites. Thank you Mr. Steele for that, it makes complete sense to bash offshore online gambling websites and the already established online gambling community, when that is precisely the industry you’re planning on entering. I guess at this point, we can strap on another title to Mr. Steele as saviour of souls? How about real talk? Because that’s rubbish. He’s basically saying, gambling addicts are better off gambling on a provincial online gambling website, when the truth is gambling addicts, are no better off gambling on a provincial website than they are in a land based casino or an offshore gambling website. Why? Well, because they are still gambling addicts! To oversimplify, it’s like saying alcoholics are better off drinking at a pub than a nightclub!
The notion that Nova Scotia would enter into online gambling to save gambling addicts from unregulated offshore sites is silly and its a cheap way around the issues at hand. The truth is that the finance minister sees a business opportunity to add another revenue stream to the government’s coffers, so spare us the public protection song and dance.