McNeil government must explain gambling prevention funding freeze

November 4, 2015

The McNeil government must explain why $1 million allocated to the Gambling Awareness Foundation of Nova Scotia to help support the prevention and treatment of problem gambling was not used in 2014-15, says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald.

After the Liberal government cut the My Play responsible gaming system on VLTs in 2014 gambling revenue increased by 11%. When the My Play system was introduced in 2012 revenue fell by 25%.

“We have witnessed a very troubling trend in the past two years under the McNeil government and it appears problem gambling is on the rise,” says MacDonald. “Now more than ever the province needs to be investing in prevention and treatment, not freezing funds. The Minister of Health needs to explain why these funds have not been used in the past year for their intended purpose.”

She adds, “The health care and social costs of gambling and addiction are well known and extensive. A cut of $1 million in prevention can lead to much higher costs at the Department of Health and the Department of Community Services.”