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Saskatchewan province considering smart cards to restrain gambling

Gamblers in the Saskatchewan province in Canada may have to swipe a personalised card before they can play a video lottery terminal at land locations in the future, reports CBC News.

The province's minister in charge of liquor and gaming is considering the use of smart-card technology to limit VLT play as a measure to combat problem gambling, the broadcaster notes.

Minister Dan D'Autremont told CBC News that the provincial government was interested in the technology following the pioneering results in the Nova Scotia province, which has been trialling the idea and is currently assessing the results.

The smart cards can be encoded to allow a VLT to function only within defined parameters, D'Autremont explained. Gamblers can set a betting or loss limit or allow play only at certain times.

"You would say, 'I can only play on Friday nights between nine and midnight,' " D'Autremont told CBC News. "Or, 'I'm only allowed to play 20 hours a week.' Whatever your personal preferences were."

The minister is awaiting the assessment of the Nova Scotia government before taking the project any further. Deidre Paluck, a representative from the Saskatchewan Responsible Gaming Association, says VLT operators have an open mind about the smart-card approach.

"If it proves to be of benefit, then it would be something obviously that the association would support," Paluck told CBC News. However, she added the members would want to see more research before any such devices are introduced.

Source: InfoPowa News

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