New numbers show increase in revenue from Nova Scotian gambling
New numbers released from theprovincial government on Thursday show an increase in gambling revenue in Nova Scotia over the last fiscal year.
Financial statements from Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation show an increase in revenue of $17.6 million for 2015-2016, compared to revenue from 2014-2015.
The province earned a total of $141.1 million in net revenue or payment to province, an increase compared to the net revenue of $123.5 million the previous fiscal year.
Higher lottery jackpots, like more Lotto MaxMillions, Lotto-649’s, and the $64-million jackpot draw won in Ontario last fall all lead to an increase of $23-million in ticket lottery gaming revenue.
The removal of the My-Play system, which was designed to prevent problem gambling, drove up VLT revenue by $19-million.
Those gambling profits go back into the province to support government programs and services, like fixing roads and supporting sports.
However, not everyone is applauding the increase in revenue.
The opposition NDP argues the increase in the VLT revenue by removing the My-Play program doesn’t help problem gamblers battle their addiction.
The province argued My-Play was cancelled in 2014 because it wasn’t achieving its objectives, and NSPLCC says it’s investing $6.4-million in responsible gambling programs, education, and treatment.
Another reason for the increase is higher lottery jackpots, but there’s no guarantee those kinds of jackpots will be repeated this fiscal year.
The $141.1-million dollars in gambling revenue is nearly $30-million more than what even the province estimated it would receive, based on information in this spring’s budget.
That budget also predicts an even larger increase in gambling revenue for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison