NDP's Horgan pulls the plug on online gambling

The NDP's John Horgan committed today to pulling the plug on BC Lottery Corporation’s online casino and focusing instead on responsible gaming, crime prevention and restoring gaming funding to charities and non-profit organizations.

“British Columbia needs to focus on operating our current gaming activities in compliance with the law, and restoring trust with local communities, charities and non-profit organizations who have been left behind in the massive Liberal gaming expansion of the last ten years," said Horgan.

Horgan committed to winding down the online casino, ordering an independent review of the current casino expansion in downtown Vancouver, and focusing the BC Lottery Corporation on assisting problem gamblers and ensuring that all activities comply with legal requirements.

“I will also immediately restore $30 million of funding to BC’s charities and non-profits who were promised funding by the Liberals, then saw that promise disappear,” said Horgan who added that the money received by these groups has fallen during the last ten years, while gaming revenue has nearly tripled.  “Funding needs to be increased,” he said, “and a new agreement with charities and non-profits, including arts organizations, needs to be developed."

Horgan said that getting into the online casino business puts BC in the same league as international operators who operate in a wild west atmosphere that encourages crime and preys on gambling addicts and young people.  A report by the British government found that criminals target online betting sites to move tainted money and disguise its illegal origins, and a 2010 review of case studies found that internet gambling sites are ideal for money laundering and other activities like fraud and related crimes. 

“We can’t turn back the clock on most gaming activities in BC”, said Horgan. “Many British Columbians enjoy buying lottery tickets or visiting their local casino.  Government needs to focus on making sure those activities are safe, free from crime and benefit all British Columbians.  That is what a government led by me will do.”


More in News

Statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson on major housing, transit investments in federal budget

Vancouver is grappling with a tough affordability crisis and today’s federal budget is an encouraging step to tackle our biggest challenges - with meaningful investments in housing, public transit...

Lawsuit claims publicly funded ads boosting B.C. Liberal Party ahead of election

Two Vancouver lawyers have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the British Columbia government and the governing Liberal party alleging misuse of taxpayer dollars for partisan advertising....

Ottawa's recovery plan for West Coast's endangered orcas criticized as too weak

The federal government has released a recovery plan for an endangered population of killer whales likely to be in the path of increased oil tanker traffic off British Columbia's southern coast. But...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.