Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation made it clear that it is no longer going to cover the travel and accommodation expenses of its experts in relation to their testimony before the Law Amendments Committee. Back in October 2018, the gaming corporation was fervently criticized by taxpayers across the province who refuse to have their cash used for payments such as the expenses around a given trip.
The controversial situation at question involved three individuals and CA$7,100 taken from the province taxpayers. This amount of cash and the particular purpose it served was the apple of discord sparking the conversation around the ways in which community money is utilized by the gaming corporation. People were outraged that their money was used for covering the plane tickets and hotel rooms of said three experts during their stay in Halifax in relation to the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program amendments.
Self-Exclusion Program Brought Experts to Halifax
Robert MacKinnon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation recently made public a letter written earlier this month. In it, he states that the corporation has taken the public response following the scandalous revelation into consideration and it wants to make up for the wrongdoing.
Furthermore, Mr. MacKinnon also pointed out that the gaming corporation is going to use its existing travel budget in order to make up for the payment. This cut will amount to CA$7,135. It could be recalled that reactions after the payments discovery were expressing people’s general discontent with the nature of payments their money is spent on. Premier Stephen McNeil was also quick to condemn the move.
He claimed that the Crown corporation should not have flown the three individuals to Halifax using community cash. What concerned him was that the three individuals related to the Responsible Gambling Council in Ontario should not have been paid for offering their point of view before the committee. None of them pointed out were sent there by the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, or that their expenses to and fro the location were being covered by the Crown corporation.
What Will 2019 Bring?
This is what made the situation even more controversial. Instead of revealing these crucial details, they did their part of testifying and expressing their opinion on Bill 49. It had the main objective to bestow more power upon lawmakers when it comes to the Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program existing in the province. The experts appeared before the legislature’s Law Amendments Committee stating that such changes will bring a positive change to the problem gambling battling and protection of players.
October 11 was when the amendments were officially greenlighted. The next step towards the improvement of the player protection program was seeking the public input on the subject. Nova Scotia residents had until December 31, 2018, to give their feedback on ways in which the existing Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program could be improved and diversified.
They had the chance to do so via the special online platform created for information collection. A general renovation and new features is what the province is eyeing, as there are some 2,000 individuals currently utilizing the program in order to deal with their mental health.