From the Surrey Leader:
VICTORIA – Trying to maintain market share in rapidly evolving gambling business, B.C. Lottery Corporation is looking at expanding its online games and tickets to mobile phones and tablets.
BCLC launched its gambling website PlayNow.com a year ago, as unregulated internet poker websites started cutting into the province’s lucrative casino and lottery business. B.C. was the first government in North America to jump into online gambling, and PlayNow.com now bills itself as “B.C.’s only legal gambling website.”
At the July 2010 launch, cabinet minister Rich Coleman estimated that B.C. residents were spending $100 million a year on online gambling, and made no apologies for encouraging BCLC to go online and raise its betting limit to $9,999.
Now some of those unregulated sites are moving to smart phone and tablet applications, and BCLC is preparing to do the same. A survey asks PlayNow.com customers if they would use their mobile devices to play lotteries, poker, casino games and sports betting.
A BCLC spokesperson said no decision has been made yet to proceed with mobile gambling.
I posted this to my facebook page this weekend and the response has been vocal to the thought of mobile gambling. Some of the comments included:
“hmm….so much for never expanding gambling, and all that innocent blood mr. Krueger mentioned being on their heads.”
” What the…! *facepalm*”
” I’m so disgusted I’m not able to find any words to adequately describe how I feel. ”
” Coleman, he is the one that raised the on line ceiling to $9999.00, one dollar less, the feds dont come looking then. Hmmmm? ”
” anything over $10,000.00 is supposed to be reported to the Feds. – whether it’s an online gambling account or a bank account. Supposed to keep the bad guys from laundering money.”
I’ll tell you what I think. I think this is one of the stupidest ideas they’ve ever come up with, because this just makes it even easier for problem gamblers to spend money they don’t have anywhere, anytime. No need to find an actual casino, hell, no need to even find a laptop or computer to gamble online! Sure, why not sit in your vehicle,or at work, or where ever you find yourself bored and gamble away. And wow, anyone wanting to launder money will be doing backflips over the creation of a government sanctioned mobile app for mobile devices that are readily disposable and harder to track.
Thats why blackberries are the mobile device of choice for organized crime… (and perhaps, the government.)
BCLC ~ ” playing it right”. The question is, for them, or for you?