Province rolling out new VLT units, to control gambling
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:54PM MDT
In an attempt to put a cap on problem gamblers, the province is installing 6,000 new video lottery terminals across Alberta, that are outfitted with features to control gambling.
The new units don’t accept one dollar coins, and will only allow a player to put in $100 in bills at one time – the units can also be timed by the player to shut down after 30 minutes, or up to two hours.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission said the new VLTs will be found throughout the province by summer, at a cost of $187 million.
“What our hope is that if somebody does have a problem with gambling this is one extra step that will give them pause and maybe think about whether they want to continue their play,” Jody Korchinski said.
Even with the changes, the government is projecting to collect $1.48 billion, slightly more than last year.
While they’re not expected to impact revenues, an expert wonders if they will have any impact on problem gamblers.
“One third of problem gamblers get better, one third get worse, and one third show no change no matter what you do, in terms of trying to stop them gambling,” U of A professor Brad Humphreys said.
However, Humphreys said it’s a positive change to have the controls out there, and to try to alter the behaviour of problem gamblers – because it’s not going away.
“People want to gamble, it’s part of human nature, they’re going to find ways to do it, even if you make it illegal,” Humphreys said.
With files from David Ewasuk