The saga around the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and its Video Lottery Terminals continues with more concerns regarding the problematic nature of the gaming offerings. Over the span of several weeks, the gambling corporation offers special vouchers for CA$5 VLT credit with the purchase of lottery tickets and individuals are worried that this would cause a surge in the use of considered to be addictive VLTs across Newfoundland and Labrador.
Video Lottery Terminals are subjected to constant observation due to their controversial nature. Due to their attractive characteristics, flashing lights, and sound effects they are able to attract players that make their first steps into gambling and even trick them into thinking they are winning more than they actually are. Now Atlantic Lottery Corporation has taken another approach at popularizing them with the help of special coupons that come with the purchase of other lottery offerings.
Controversial Video Lottery Terminals Stir the Pot
Every player that purchases the COMBO 5 bundle of lottery tickets at the retail locations that sell them are eligible for a CA$5 credit for VLT action. The campaign launched on January 13 and everyone who is in possession of such voucher could use it before February 16. COMBO 5 costs CA$25 and features lottery games to the likes of Lotto 6/49, Daily GRAND, Lotto MAX, among others.
Atlantic Lottery Corporation Senior Communications Counsel Natalie Belliveau stated that this voucher does not aim to attract new players to VLT offerings, but instead to provide already existing ones of legal age with the chance to explore a wider spectrum of gaming opportunities that are already available. She pointed out that problem gambling policies are implemented throughout the entire portfolio of the corporation and VLTs, in particular, have several protection features.
Such features that strive to prevent spending too much time or cash on gaming are the time limit of 150 minutes per day after which players must cash out. The user interface also reminds individuals how much time they have spent on one particular device, as well as the cash they have spent instead of gaming credit. Players should have an adequate perception of their gaming habits, hence the realistic features of VLTs.
Class Action Lawsuit Received Green Light
In response to the recently launched campaign, people struggling with and recovering from gambling addiction were quick to share their thoughts. Frank Small is one of the players who used to be caught in the web of compulsive gambling and he was among the first individuals to express his discontent with the coupon offer provided by Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
Mr. Small stated that this combo offering with the additional coupon would trick many people into exploring more of the gaming offerings and potentially falling prey to gambling addiction. He is also one of the plaintiffs in a revolutionary class-action lawsuit that aims to end VLT operation. The devices are considered to be in direct breach with the existing Criminal Code in Canada, as well as trick players into spending more via misleading signals and notifications.
December 2018 saw the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal give green light to the lawsuit while it dismissed Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s previous filed notice of appeal. The outcome of this class action lawsuit could reshape Canada’s gaming field and lead to a ban of VLTs not only in the area but in other provinces as well.