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February 24, 2000
For immediate release

Province Sets Out License Conditions And Requirements For Earth Future Lottery

Provincial Treasury

Government has decided to issue a license to enable Earth Future Lottery to advance to another stage in its efforts to comply with conditions to operate a traditional, passive lottery activity. The license sets out the requirements that must be fulfilled before Earth Future Lottery can receive a "Notice to Proceed" to begin its operations.

The lottery license requirements were issued to Earth Fund, a non-profit, federally incorporated Company established in 1976. Earth Fund's president is Mr. Maurice Strong, well known environmental advocate, and former United Nations environmental leader. Mr. Marshall Pollock, Q.C., is also a representative of the Earth Fund.

If the lottery fulfills the obligations set out in the license, net proceeds will be paid to charities. Some pertinent facts are as follows:

Five per cent of the gross revenue from the Earth Future Lottery will be designated to a PEI Foundation to be set up to support local environmental projects.

The PEI Foundation will qualify under the requirements of the Income Tax Act of Canada.

Other beneficiaries of Earth Future Lottery proceeds will include:

Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), recent winners of the Nobel Peace Prize;

the World Conservation Union, one of the world's oldest environmental groups, founded in 1948;

the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives; the Earth Council; and the Humane Society International.

If the lottery goes forward, it will generate 30 new full and part-time technical, supervisory and administrative jobs. The lottery could provide a number of key benefits for PEI, such as: the use of Internet technology with opportunities to participate in the growing e-commerce marketplace; and the location of the Earth Fund head office in PEI will create stable employment and spin-off job opportunities in related support businesses.

Consumer protection and detailed monitoring provisions are incorporated into the operating license. Stringent monitoring of the lottery's operations by the province will be combined with audit controls and Internet security services provided by KPMG, an international consulting firm which has extensive experiences working with major lottery organizations.

Careful design, security and controls are built into the Earth Future Lottery to reduce chances of the lottery becoming an attraction for problem gamblers. Additional controls, such as age restrictions for purchasers (lottery ticket buyers must be 18 years or older), the requirement to purchase tickets with a credit card, and the presentation of identification to claim prizes, will restrict participation in the lottery to consenting adults.

Provincial Treasurer Pat Mella dispelled notions that the Earth Future Lottery will be connected to Internet gambling. "Islanders can rest assured that the Earth Future Lottery has nothing to do with Internet casino gambling. The lottery would not be linked to a casino concept in any way. There would be no interactive wagering or gambling of money for immediate payoffs - the typical enticement that appeals to problem gamblers. This world wide charitable endeavour would be based in PEI and will sell monthly lottery tickets to a world wide market."

The Earth Fund is in the process of obtaining its registered charity status from Revenue Canada, which is one of the conditions before any tickets are sold.

Media Contact: Patricia Mella
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