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September 29, 2008
For immediate release
Minister Sheridan Unveils Province’s First Responsible Gaming Strategy
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Leadership, Integrity and Responsibility: A Gaming Strategy for Prince Edward Island clearly outlines the future direction for gaming in Prince Edward Island through measures that include a sharp reduction in the number of video lottery terminals and sites, as well as significant responsible gaming initiatives and enacting age of majority legislation for purchasing lottery products.
“Reducing the number of VLT sites in half and cutting the number of machines by 20% is a substantial move meant to make VLTs less available to those who have problems with excess,” said Minister Sheridan. “We are also enacting age of majority legislation for purchase of lottery products and providing some very real avenues for dealing with problem gambling. I am very proud that this document will be used as a guide for gaming well into the future.”
Some of the highlights of the Gaming Strategy include:
• The number of video lottery sites will be reduced by 50% across Prince Edward Island. This reduction means the Island will have the lowest number of VLT sites per capita across Canada.
• The number of video lottery terminals will be reduced by 20% on Prince Edward Island. This reduction in the number of VLTs by 20% will make Prince Edward Island the leader in Atlantic Canada for the lowest number of VLTs per capita.
• Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion will not be impacted by this VLT consolidation.
• Age of majority legislation will be amended to establish the age at which gaming is permitted. You will have to be 19 years of age to purchase lottery products.
• There will be a significant increase in funding for responsible gaming initiatives.
• Public messaging in support of responsible gaming will be increased.
• An Advisory Council on Responsible Gaming will be established to offer guidance on the distribution of the funding dedicated to responsible gaming initiatives.
• A full-time gambling addiction specialist position will be established at PEI Addiction Services.
• Resources will also be invested in a 24-hour help line for problem gamblers.
• The Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission will strengthen the regulatory framework that provides oversight on all gaming within Prince Edward Island, including the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
• The Prince Edward Island Government will develop a strategy to allocate all lottery revenues to good works in Prince Edward Island.
• Stakeholders will be fully engaged in the development of a charitable gaming strategy.
“This strategy sets out a definitive action plan for us over the next two years,” said Minister Sheridan. “Some measures will be implemented immediately while others will be put in place over a longer time frame. This will allow the research and development needed to ensure we have programs and measures that best work for Islanders.”
View "Leadership, Integrity and Responsibility: A Gaming Strategy for Prince Edward Island" at the following website: www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/gamingstrategy.pdf