Lotteries Act Changes Could Hurt Locals, says MHA
The government may be hurting local businesses and residents by implementing a bill that could shut down personal lottery sales. Regardless of the outcome, this issue will have significant impact on all New Brunswick communities if it goes through as planned.
Perry Trimper, the independent MHA for Lake Melville, is not a supporter of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s newly passed Lotteries Act. The bill is set for a third reading in the province’s House of Assembly, and it might prohibit citizens with gambling addictions from filing class-action lawsuits against the municipality.
Residents would be barred from filing class-action lawsuits against the provincial government for their gambling addictions under the legislation, also known as Bill 18. If approved, the bill will change the Lotteries Act, giving the provincial government, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and others protection from liability for local gaming concerns.
Mr. Timper stated in a recent interview that the current legislation is faulty since more than CA$1 million being put into gaming by local citizens, with a third of that money going back into the coffers. According to him, the measure would deprive persons suffering from compulsive gambling of their opportunity to seek justice via class-action lawsuits.
Victims of gambling addictions, on the other hand, may still file individual action cases in court. However, Mr. Trimper thinks that filing such actions will be considerably more difficult if the victims have already gotten themselves into financial problems as a result of their gambling addictions, since they may have lost their jobs and harmed their family connections.
Jordan Brown, the New Democrat Member of Parliament for Labrador West, has also spoken out against the bill. According to him, the government’s strategy for defending itself against the lottery corporation’s predatory acts and practices is absurd. He went on to say that the ALC would face no consequences even if it continued to employ technology or provide help to persons suffering from addictions in the province.
Former mayor of North West River Derek Montague has also struggled with gambling addiction and believes that VLTs are the most hazardous. The ALC, he claims, has failed to put in place norms and practices to safeguard its players from the extremely addictive nature of VLTs. Every machine, he said, is engineered to be as addictive as possible.
Online Casino with a History of Controversy
This isn’t the first time the ALC’s activities have caused worry among residents of the Atlantic provinces. Previously, the Crown agency’s plan to build an online casino platform for the area sparked heated debates, with many believing that the time was inconvenient since many gamblers were under lockdown, allowing them easy access and making them more prone to gambling addictions.
Records for the Fiscal Year
The ALC released its financial report for the fiscal year 2020-2021 in October. Despite the shutdown of casino locations over the time, the study indicates that the Crown is on course to make significant profits this fiscal year. One of the advantages of the gambling businesses is that a percentage of the profits may be utilized to fund provincial projects and treasuries.
Source: Rafsan, Jugol “A reform to the Lotteries Act might make it harder for gambling victims to get justice, according to the MHA,” CBC, November 7, 2021.