Nova Scotia's sanctioned online casino could launch this spring.
Atlantic Lottery Corporation launched a website specifically for New Brunswick last summer with the intention of expanding to the other Atlantic provinces, subject to government approval.
The release of Nova Scotia was announced on Friday in the form of a council resolution.
According to a spokesman for Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, the cost of developing "online casino-style games" will be shared between the provinces that offer the service.
"Currently the cost for Nova Scotia is estimated at $ 3.1 million," Jillian Moore said in an email.
The decision raised the eyebrows of anti-gambling advocates as the New Brunswick site allows people to wager up to $ 500 on a single hand of blackjack or up to $ 100 on a single turn of a virtual slot machine . Proponents say they are concerned that this could create problems for people who gamble from home.
The organization to raise awareness of gambling has been disbanded
ALC officials said the move was necessary to counter the growing popularity of people playing on sites unrelated to the Atlantic provinces. Although they estimated that up to $ 100 million left Atlantic Canada via offshore websites, ALC officials didn't say how they calculated that number.
Government officials in Nova Scotia have stated that they believe the system pursued by the ALC is safe to operate and that the province has resources to help people with gambling problems.
Last year, the provincial government dissolved Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia, a non-profit government organization on market terms, without public notice.
A government spokesman said the funding previously earmarked for Nova Scotia gambling awareness will be added to the overall mental health and addiction budget.
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