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Manitoba Lotteries to Launch Online Gaming Site


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After seeing how well British Columbia’s sanctioned online gaming site
PlayNow.com has performed over the last few years, fellow Canadian province of
Manitoba is looking to follow suit by launching an online gaming site of its
own.

According to recent reports, Manitoba is planning to launch an online
gaming site
in association with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation
(BCLC), the organization behind the launch of PlayNow.com a few years ago.

The new Manitoba online gambling site will incorporate OpenBet’s online
gaming and betting software, as well as the GTECH G2 online poker platform, and
will pool the poker liquidity of Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec.

Manitoba Accepts Online Gambling is Here to Stay

Like British Columbia, Manitoba has finally accepted that online gambling in the
Canadian province is going nowhere any time soon, and that its tens of thousands
of internet gaming fans are only too happy to play at offshore gaming sites.

These sites – which are considered illegal by Manitoba – are thought to cost the
province almost CAD$40 million each year in lost revenues. But by launching a
provincially-owned, operated and endorsed online gaming site solely open to
Manitoba citizens, the province can finally reap the rewards of online gambling.

In fact, Manitoba Lotteries is hoping its new online gaming site will
generate in excess of $1.5 million in net income in its first year alone, and up
to $17 million by 2018. Out of these net revenues, Manitoba Lotteries will
allocate 2 per cent to its various responsible gambling programs plus another 3
per cent to the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

Said the minister who oversees Manitoba Lotteries, Steve Ashton, ‘The
existing [Manitoban] online gambling market is mostly unregulated, with over
2,000 grey market operators who offer few or no responsible gambling features
and millions of dollars leaving the province every year.

Manitobans Can Finally Play on a Site with Integrity

‘However, Manitobans will now be able to play on a site where they can have
confidence in game integrity, personal information security and that offers a
comprehensive set of responsible play tools, information and support,’ he said.

As per the terms of the agreement, BCLC will design, develop and test the
Manitoba’s new online gaming website for a launch date expected to be sometime
in the first quarter of 2013, which is expected to initially feature a host of
online casino and poker games, with the possibility of sports betting and bingo
facilities to follow in due course.

Said BCLC President and CEO, Michael Graydon, ‘Innovation is key to growth in
any business. We are creating a new revenue stream for BCLC by leveraging our
experience and the expertise of our best-in-class vendors and providing these
services to another jurisdiction.’

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