BUSINESS

Atlantic Lottery research how interactive TV can wager money for gamblers

TAGs: Atlantic Canada, Atlantic Lottery, Canada, Crown corp, interactive TV, TV

Atlantic Lottery CorpAtlantic Canada’s Crown corporation – Atlantic Lottery – that manages gaming in the region, is studying how it can use interactive television while examining new ways for gamblers to wager money. The research into the new technology means TVs could be used to place bets with the click of a remote on everything from televised horse races to talent shows.

The corporation‘s request for information on the topic states: “Seizing the right technology solution is critical, not only for sales growth but more importantly for player attraction and engagement.

“Could Atlantic Lottery create new games and line extensions of our current products that could be specific to sporting events, reality TV shows and games that involve a degree of skill?”

In a report by CBCNews, a spokeswoman for Atlantic Lottery, Jennifer Lawlor, said the request is for research purposes only and they want to understand what’s in the marketplace. She said: “It’s about us doing due diligence because of the emerging trend in the technology world. Computers and televisions are moving together and there’s different offerings with both.”

If she’s just saying that to ensure do-gooders aren’t offended, then the move could be a good idea as there does seem to be a growing market for it. According to a Merrill Lynch study, remote gambling will be worth almost $204 billion globally by 2015, with half of it from interactive television.

There is of course, your usual gang of do-gooders against the idea.

Nigel Turner of the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in Toronto, who has been researching psychological risk factors associated with gambling, says the new venture could bring problems.

He said: “You can’t get more maxed out, more available than gambling on the internet, your TV or your mobile phone, so that’s a concern. But that’s weighed against, to some extent, the fact it’s less intensive, exciting, thrilling to win in that context because it removes the social reinforcement.”

Shut up mate, you’re boring.

Dave Wilson, the minister responsible for gaming in Nova Scotia, said worry warts like Nigel aren’t to be concerned. He stated that the government is aware of how technology is changing the gambling business and added that the province’s gaming strategy, released earlier this year will have constant and ongoing evaluation.

He said: “We take in over $100 million a year in gaming revenue so it’s our role to ensure it has a lens of responsibility…that as a province we are committed to ensuring we minimize any harmful effects.”

Atlantic Lottery, who is owned by the four governments – which each share the company’s net profits annually – are currently seeking ways to reverse dropping revenues. This is probably one of them. There may be people against it, bur there always is. Regardless, it ensures that its information request was for research purposes only and it will not purchase or sign any contracts based on its responses. Do you see this request resulting in interactive TV gambling? If so, do you think it will help with Atlantic Lottery’s revenues?

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