The Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission has unveiled its new responsible gambling strategy for Islanders, which acts as an update and replacement for the previous strategy created in 2008.
The strategy, which was developed by independent consultant MRSB – contracted by the PEI Lotteries Commission – was created using five guiding principles, which are:
- harm reduction;
- informed and healthy play;
- equity and inclusion;
- and supporting vibrant communities.
Citing an “entirely new era” where digital and online activity has been growing at “warp speed”, the new strategy will “chart a new course for gambling” in the province, according to Minister of Finance Jill Burridge.
Burridge, who is also Chair of the PEI Lotteries Commission, explained: “The gambling landscape has shifted considerably in the last fifteen years. This new strategy responds to emerging demands and provides a balanced approach, by ensuring those who want to gamble can do so in a safe and positive way. It is based on sound research and consultation that will ensure we are making responsible decisions for Islanders.”
Prior to formation of the new strategy, MRSB engaged with mental health and addictions professionals, government partners, commercial stakeholders, such as the harness racing industry, and “the people who are most affected by gambling across the province”.
A series of virtual meetings and online surveys allowed the public to share input, with specific surveys launched to consult with groups that offer charitable lottery games on the Island.
“I want to thank all Islanders who provided their input into this guiding document that will be referred to prior to any decisions on this important topic down the road. We have a solid plan in place, with timelines and the means to measure outcomes,” added Minister Burridge.