Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


March 4, 2010

Internet gaming expansion and problem gamblers

S. Simpson: At a time when the Lottery Corporation acknowledges that British Columbians are "in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression," the B.C. Liberals are trying to get people to gamble more. While cutting programs and spending on public services, the Liberals are approving a $347 million expenditure by B.C. Lotteries to enhance gambling, particularly through the Internet.

Can the minister explain the B.C. Liberal vision that says having more British Columbians and in particular young people spending their money on Internet gambling is the best for the future of our province?

...

S. Simpson: Over 150,000 British Columbians identified by the B.C. Medical Association as being problem gamblers. Expert after expert stating that Internet gaming is the most risky form of gambling for people who have a problem and particularly for young people.

The response of this government is to further cut the gaming policy and enforcement branch by another 10 percent since September, as well as to invest over a third of a billion dollars in enhancing that gaming. No wonder, by the government's own numbers, that only 17 percent of British Columbians have any confidence in how this government deals with problem gambling and that every year for the last three years, support for gaming has dropped in this province.

Can the minister tell us when revenues at any cost, including exploiting some of our most vulnerable citizens, became a B.C. Liberal great goal?

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