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Prince Edward Island Reduces Lottery License Fees

There is some tremendous news for Prince Edward Island organizations that plan to use lottery at events in order to raise funds. The province has decided to charge a CA$25 flat fee, instead of a percentage of the prize value, for fundraisers over CA$5,000. The change would mean a loss of around CA$120,000 for the province, but it will guarantee more money for the charities.

As of right now, charity organizations that intend on organizing lottery promotions as a way of fundraising have to pay 2% of the retail value of the prize to the province if the amount is above CA$1,000. However, if it is below that amount, they are charged with a flat rate of CA$5. However, the fees will be reduced later this month.

Long-Awaited Change

Heather Doran, communications and development manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince Edward Island stated that this is massive news for the not-for-profit field. According to her, this way, more money can be raised in order to support local programs and services. She added that the reduction of fees will provide more support for the existing program, and cover the cost of supplies and operational expenses.

The Department of Justice and Public Safety projects that this move will cost CA$120,000 revenue to the province. The changes will go into effect on August 21, 2021. There will be no changes to the fee structure for weekly community fundraisers, such as the Chase the Ace, that pay a flat rate of CA$25 per event. This will be the case as long as the prize does not exceed CA$5,000.

Heather Matheson, managing director of the Prince County Hospital Foundation said that the reduction of fees will be huge for the not-for-profit sector, major fundraisers, like lotteries with huge prize rewards. She believes that the change would make the big fundraisers much more valuable to the community groups. Ms. Matheson said that certainly, everyone in the sector would support the change.

Additionally, Ms. Matheson said that the paperwork behind the fundraisers and the prizes is not a problem as she is glad to see the fees reduced and states that the change is a welcome one. She continued by saying that the bigger events undoubtedly attract bigger crowds, and thus organizations can raise more funds for many causes.

Raise in Unregulated Gambling

Last summer there are some concerns stemming from the ALC that offshore gambling in the Atlantic region, including Prince Edward Island has increased. President and CEO of the Crown, Chris Keevill said that offshore gaming has drastically increased during the lockdown months of last year and that online operators were taking advantage of the situation. The Off Shore Gaming Association responded that websites should not be blamed for offering more exciting products than the Crown.

Not the Time

Later the Prince Edward Island Government decided to introduce its own online digital platform with help from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Many were worried that the launch would be harmful to gamblers as they had much more time on their hands to the lockdown hours and that the government did not consult the public. However, the ALC reassured that it will be taking all needed safety measures to provide a safe and regulated gaming environment.

Source: “Change with lottery licence fees means P.E.I. charities will have more cash in hand”, CBC News, August 13, 2021