The Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) government is evaluating the fate of a controversial electronic gambling game following the decision of Nova Scotia to stop offering it. Nova Scotia officials announced on September 21st, 2009 that electronic keno would be cancelled in about 180 bars and restaurants in the province by October 22nd, 2009.
P.E.I. Treasurer Wes Sheridan said on September 22nd, 2009 that he will take the next 7-190 days to review his options with officials and then make a decision on the future of electronic keno on P.E.I. Keno has been a money losing endeavor in the Atlantic region. P.E.I. has lost a total of $60,000 since the game started. Those losses in Nova Scotia reached a total of $432,000.
Sheridan said that his thoughts on electronic keno in July 2009 centered on the fact that even Lotto 6/49 did not make a substantial amount of money in the first 6 months of operation. But without the vital mass provided by the province of Nova Scotia, it will be extremely difficult to continue the game here on P.E.I.
Nova Scotia government officials stated that it will cost a total of $3.4 million for the province to stop the game, which will come out from the general gambling revenues paid to Nova Scotia. The write-off includes the cost of computer software hardware, installation expenses and others.
There is no word what those costs will be in Prince Edward Island should the province choose to stop the game. Critics argued that electronic keno, which permits players to choose the numbers that they like and monitor results on big video screen, would further affect gaming addicts.
John M. Thorpe