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Nova Scotia Online Gambling Poll Being Carried Out

By: Russell Potvin , Wed. Oct. 28, 2015

Online gambling habits of Nova Scotia residents to be investigated in new poll.

Nova Scotia NSPLCC is to conduct an online gambling poll where they will study the behaviour of players so that they can effectively regulate this industry.

Minister Michael Samson has proposed a province-wide $100,000 poll so that the behaviour of those participating in online gambling can be study. Samson who is responsible for the Gaming Control Act wants to study an accurate number of Nova Scotian's who gamble online so that he can get a better idea of how to regulate the online gambling industry in Nova Scotia.

In a statement to reporters in Halifax he said, "We need to better understand how many Nova Scotians are actually participating in online poker and other casino-style games, and how often."

He is hoping that the data collected will help in discovering any issues there are with online betting in this province as well as helping the government when it comes to regulation. Online gambling in Nova Scotia isn't regulated yet but there has been talk about possible regulation and this is why this study is so important as it will show if there is enough data to move forward with approval. The main objective of the study is to get a better understanding of how many Nova Scotians play casino games, online poker, how often they play, and how much they spend. Part of the study will involve research firm MQO carrying out up to 10,000 telephone surveys.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation (NSPLCC) will conduct the research and Stacy O'Rourke, Manager, Communications for NSPLCC in charge of the survey. She said, "without the data, we can't determine if there are problem gambling issues that need to be addressed." The challenge that they will face is that the internet can't be regulated but Nova Scotia may look at identifying what measures need to be put in place to ensure that residents have ways to get more information if they need it.

The study will focus on the last 12 months of wagering activity. The Responsible Gambling Strategy was first adopted back in 2011 and the NSPLCC started to focus on the effects of online gambling in terms of "health and well-being" as well as on the social and economic impacts. The Department of Health and Wellness will also be collaborating with the NSPLCC. It is hoped that the study will be completed by the end of December and the data will then be analysed and correlated within six months after this.