McNeil Government more concerned with declining revenues than gambling addiction prevention
September 16, 2015
It’s clear the Liberal government’s decision to cut the responsible gaming system My Play was based on declining revenues and not addiction support says NDP Health Critic Dave Wilson.
He made the comments after Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation President Bob MacKinnon admitted today at the Standing Committee for Public Accounts that VLT revenue decreased by 25% after My Play was introduced in 2012, and rose by 11% after the McNeil government cancelled the system in 2014.
“There’s a golden rule in life that when someone tells you it’s not about the money, then it’s about the money,” says Wilson. “Today the CEO of the Lotteries Corporation said the cancellation of My Play wasn’t about the money but the facts suggest the exact opposite.”
Wilson adds, “If this wasn’t about the money the Liberals would not have frozen the budget for problem gambling prevention. The Liberals have demonstrated time and time again they are willing to put relatively small sums of money ahead of the needs of people suffering form mental illness and addiction and it’s placing the safety of Nova Scotians at risk.”
Today, at the public accounts committee, government members also revealed that they have no plan in place to replace My Play and, in spite of rising gambling revenue totals, they’ve frozen the budget for gambling prevention.
“When it comes to supporting people suffering from mental illness and addiction the McNeil government and Health Minister Leo Glavine have their priorities all wrong,” says Wilson.