|The New Brunswick government is adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before endorsing legalized online gambling. |
Finance Minister Peter Mesheau told the provincial legislature on Friday that the Conservative government is neither for nor against an online gambling program which the Atlantic Lottery Corp. would like to develop.
'We are certainly interested in finding out more and we're putting together a file on it,' Mesheau said. 'At this point in time, we have no interest in pursuing this but we're watching the developments.'
Michelle Carinci, CEO of the Atlantic Lottery Corp. is arguing her agency should be permitted to offer and regulate online gaming in the region.
Carinci said in an interview last week that the Atlantic region is losing out on millions of dollars of gambling tax revenue that presently goes to offshore Internet casinos.
'It's really nothing more than just the electronic delivery of what we do today,' said Carinci.
Canadians gamble about $10 million every year at Internet gambling sites.
NDP Leader Elizabeth Weir urged caution, citing a number of gambling-related suicides in the past few years.
'Let's solve some of our current gambling problems before giving the green light to in-home gambling,' she said.
The lottery corporation has studied online gaming and argues it could offer a better and much more regulated product. The corporation has informed its four shareholders - the provincial governments of Atlantic Canada - of its findings.