News release

Province to Establish Lottery Operation

Finance Minister Don Downe announced today that the province will officially withdraw from the Atlantic Lottery Corp. The Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. will immediately establish a new provincial lottery operation that keeps profits in the province, creates jobs and offers the full range of games and services that are currently available.

"The new provincial lottery will ensure our profits remain in Nova Scotia where they belong," said Mr. Downe. "The lottery operation will employ Nova Scotians in highly skilled jobs and contribute significantly to our economy."

Since early 1997, Nova Scotia has worked to forge a new agreement with the other shareholders of the Atlantic Lottery Corp. to distribute profits more fairly. Under the current profit-distribution formula, Nova Scotia is losing out annually on between $4 million to $4.5 million in profits.

On March 9, Nova Scotia announced it would leave the Atlantic Lottery Corp. unless the profit-formula issue was resolved quickly. Board members at the lottery corporation were unable to reach the unanimous approval needed to amend the profit formula.

"Nova Scotia has been patient and accommodating with the Atlantic Lottery Corp. for two years," said Mr. Downe. "It is time for decisive action on this issue."

Mr. Downe stressed that a Nova Scotia lottery operation is viable and will be profitable. The Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. will phase in the new operation over the next year and will provide Nova Scotians with all the games and products currently offered by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. Over the coming months, the gaming corporation will ensure a seamless transition with no interruption to the services and products available in Nova Scotia.

NOTE: The following is intended for use by broadcast media.

Nova Scotia is withdrawing from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Finance Minister Don Downe says the province's gaming corporation will phase in a new provincial lottery operation over the next year.

It'll provide Nova Scotians with all games and products now being offered by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Nova Scotia has been trying for the last while to reach a new deal with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation over the distribution of profits.

The province says it's been losing out on between four-million and four-and-a-half-million dollars annually under the current profit-distribution formula.

The finance minister announced the new lottery operation today after Atlantic Lottery Corporation board members failed to get the unanimous approval needed to amend the formula.

Downe says that a Nova Scotia lottery operation will keep profits in the province and create jobs.

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Contact:

Julia Watt
Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. 902-424-3420
ngr                  March 29, 1999               2:53 p.m.