New Gaming Strategy Focused on Research and Prevention

Communities, Culture and Heritage

March 25, 2011 1:07 PM

The province's new responsible gaming strategy is focused on protecting the health and well-being of Nova Scotians and improving the regulation of gaming.

The strategy, released today, March 25, by Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act David Wilson, will ensure government continues to maintain a focus on treatment and prevention of problem gambling.

The province will work with district health authorities to improve the quality, accessibility and range of options available to problem gamblers and place greater emphasis on social marketing in its prevention programs.

"The new strategy will improve problem gambling prevention and treatment by discouraging excessive play and promoting effective research on prevention," said Mr. Wilson. "We're committed to an approach that balances a recognition of the value of gaming revenues with the need to take responsibility for preventing and treating the effects of problem gambling."

The plan includes measures to increase the focus on research into problem gambling, a continued moratorium on new VLTs, and make the MyPlay system mandatory to help players better monitor and make informed choices about their play.

"Nova Scotia is showing genuine leadership by introducing a strategy that maintains a socially responsible, sustainable and accountable approach to gaming," said Mr. Wilson.

"We're building on the lessons learned in the last five years and the experiences from other jurisdictions to build a strong foundation for managing gaming and improving our ability to address problem gambling."

The strategy is based on research into best practices in other jurisdictions, input from stakeholders and the public, and a review of results from the previous gaming strategy.

The strategy outlines a number of other measures including:
-- reaffirming that Nova Scotia will not expand into internet gambling such as online casino games
-- declining to endorse a proposals to develop a racino in the province
-- ongoing review of advertising standards to ensure they are consistent with best practices for social responsibility
–- making the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation a division of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
-- integrate Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia with the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation to create a center of excellence on problem gambling research.

A deputy ministers' advisory committee will oversee the implementation of the strategy's elements across government.

A transition team will be established to work through the changes affecting the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, including the requirement for any regulatory or legislative changes.

A copy of the Responsible Gambling Strategy 2011 is available at www.gov.ns.ca/tch/ under "What's New".


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province's new responsible gaming strategy is focused on

protecting the health and well-being of Nova Scotians and

improving the regulation of gaming.

     Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act

David Wilson says the strategy will improve problem gambling

prevention and treatment by discouraging excessive play and

promoting effective research on prevention.

     The province will work with district health authorities to

improve the quality, accessibility and range of options available

to problem gamblers.

     The strategy outlines a number of other measures including

reaffirming the province's position not to expand into internet

gambling, rejecting calls for a racino, and making the Nova

Scotia Gaming Corporation a division of the Department of

Communities, Culture and Heritage.

-30-

Media Contact: Michael Noonan
              Communities, Culture and Heritage
              902-424-1593
              E-mail: noonanmg@gov.ns.ca