Ontario is placing a big bet online. Earlier this summer Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and OLG Chair Paul Godfrey announced the gambling agency will launch an online gaming website in 2012, an attempt to recover money from the more than 400,000 Ontario residents who place bets digitally with out-of-province internet casinos.
The province isn’t blind to the potential risks of the initiative. OLG says the site, outlined in the following briefing notes, will be “socially responsible and secure,” incorporating a number of protections and tools letting the agency red-flag problem gamblers. The Centre of Addiction and Mental Health will offer online counseling for the site’s users. But questions about whether the site will increase the number of Ontarians with serious gambling problems remain – especially in light of a recent CAMH study finding some 29,000 Ontario high school students are problem gamblers.
Here are OLG’s briefing notes on the topic.