After Years of Convincing, ALC Launches Online Casino in Nova Scotia
For the last decade, the Atlantic Lottery Corp has been working tirelessly to give east coast provinces access to a locally-regulated online gambling market. In the beginning, it was a trial in futility. None of the provinces were showing interest. Their preference for land casinos was unbending, for fear that online access would diminish existing revenue and breed addiction.
Last month, Nova Scotia became the second Atlantic province to take the plunge. New Brunswick was the first, launching its ALC online casino back in 2020. If this is the first you’re hearing of it, that should come as no surprise. Provincial leaders aren’t exactly promoting the service. They just want locals to have a safe, secure, trustworthy option for gambling over the internet.
ALC Quietly Launches Online Casino in Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia online casino went live on Thursday, July 21, 2022Nova Scotia online casino went live. There was no fanfare surrounding the launch. It just kind of happened. The province is “not trying to really promote it”, explains NS Finance Minister Allan MacMaster.
“We just want to put it out there,” he says. “It’s up and running now and it’s there for people who want to play.”
MacMaster goes on to detail the months of “extensive discussions” that took place on the political level. A major contributor to those talks was MLA Brian Comer, fellow cabinet member and the minister responsible for Nova Scotia’s Office of Addictions and Mental Health.
While authorizing access to online gambling remains a concern for the well-being of the community, MacMaster says the cabinet could not overlook one very simple fact. People are already gambling online. It’s happening, like it or not. “People are gaming on sites quite literally from just about anywhere in the world.”
Nova Scotia’s leaders came to the conclusion that it was in their power to protect the people of the province. By launching a local online casino, people would have a safe place they can trust; one that comes with “PlayWise Tools” designed to help players manage their spending and recognize the amount of time they spend playing.
The new NS online casino offers a complete line-up of casino-style gambling activities. Players can bet on slot machines, video poker, and a wide range of table games that includes blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and more.
iGaming Could Generate $10Mil in First Year
One element that has to play a role in the province’s decision is revenue. There’s no debating the fact that international gambling websites are siphoning money outside of Canada. A local online casino will inevitably help staunch the flow.
According to a spokesperson with the NS Finance Department, the new ALC casino could generate as much as $10 million in its first year of operation. MacMaster claims that was not a deciding factor in approving the launch. It was surely a factor to some degree, but not a prevalent one, says the Finance Minister.
“What really drove it was the fact that it’s out there,” he reiterates. “It exists without us and if we have a presence, well at least maybe we can protect people and recoup some of the money that’s leaving our province.”
New Brunswick, following its 2020 launch on ALC.ca, was able to generate $7.3 million in its first 12 months. Only time will tell whether the new online casino in Nova Scotia will succeed in drawing locals away from international iGaming sites.
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