The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) recently came under fire for its recent online promotion. Tory finance critic Murray Ryan said the approach that the ALC is taking is encouraging people who normally wouldn’t gamble into taking it up.
The promotional email came in the form of a voucher that can be used by new account owners to get $20. When they enter the promo code, they will then be eligible to receive subsequent promo material in the future.
Ryan criticized the promotion as similar to throwing around free money to get players to register at the casino. The ALC recently received approval from the provincial government to set up an online casino.
This move was met with disapproval by anti-gambling advocates. This promotional event for the online casino only adds fuel to the fire of criticism the ALC is facing.
The gambling operator says that the site will come with a variety of measures to protect players and to promote responsible gambling. Additionally, the ALC points out that the recent move towards opening an online casino is to counteract the spread of foreign websites drawing in customers in the region. It is much better to have a local website run online gambling so that it can be taxed properly by the government.
However, Ryan speculates that the opening of the online casino is more to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the other brick-and-mortar establishments closed down, a Canadian online casino is the best option to regain lost gambling revenues.
ALC Promotion Gets Flak
Additionally, Zach Churchill, the local health minister, said that the casino promotion did not pass through his department for approval. Churchill said his department is very concerned about how the promotion works and how it puts some a certain segment of the population at risk. The health department already passed on its concern to the Crown corporations.
Churchill says that his department’s focus right now is to find ways to help players with gambling problems handle their issues. He says that they will be able to provide 24/7 support to anyone suffering from any gambling-related issues and reminded players that they can call, text, or chat anytime.
Another critic of the promotion is NDP Leader Gary Burrill. He calls it inappropriate and a sign of poor judgment. With more people stuck at home, the promotion is directly targeting vulnerable members of society.