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The Canadian provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia have announced that they are set to work together to collaborate on bringing internet gambling to residents of Manitoba.
"We launched online gaming in British Columbia to provide a secure and legal option for people who play online and to keep revenues in the province that otherwise would be going to illegal gambling sites." the Honorable Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation said.
"We are pleased to share our expertise with Manitoba to strengthen regulated online gambling in Canada."
Michael Graydon, BCLC President and CEO said: "Innovation is key to growth in any business. We are creating a new revenue stream for BCLC by leveraging our experience and the expertise of our best-in-class vendors and providing these services to another jurisdiction."
Currently Quebec and British Columbia have online gambling presences, while Ontario is working to begin offering online betting later in the year. Manitoba's online backbone will be supplied by Openbet, who will also provide content as part of the deal. The BCLC will help by also providing site design, testing and development services, and will also manage a large part of Manitoba's website.
The Manitoba Gaming Control Commission will regulate the site, and the Manitoba Lotteries will be the site's operator. 5% of the gaming revenues will be placed into funding gambling addiction programs, which is higher than the 2% that land based casinos pay. It is expected that the site will generate $1.5 million in revenues next year and $17 million by 2018.
Commenting on his province's adoption of internet gambling, Manitoba Lotteries Minister Steve Ashton said: "There are 2,000 sites currently and an estimated $37 million that goes into online gaming, much of it which goes out of the province," Ashton said. "We view the new site as a way of keeping that in the province."