Most provinces across Canada are working on offering their own online gambling websites, and Prince Edward Island has finally picked up on the trend. After showing its support for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s online gambling venture, the local government is beginning to consider new and interesting outlets for the activity. One of its latest projects is called GeoSweep, an idea generated by a UK gaming operator called Roboreus.
GeoSweep is a unique new lottery game that relies on locations rather than numbers. Instead of picking combinations of numbers, players must pick one of 2.3 million Canadian locations for their chance to win. It is certainly an interesting approach to establishing new lottery games, but it seems that the general public is reluctant to adapt.
Roboreus launched a pilot program of GeoSweep in the UK earlier this year, but it did not fare well. The game only brought in $160, which is disappointing for any online gambling venture. It is also a bad omen for PEI and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, as the local government has invested $4 million into the project. The entire project cost $8.7 million, with New Brunswick putting up the rest of the cash.
Should GeoSweep continue to see disappointing results, PEI and New Brunswick’s investments will be seen as a huge waste of money. As such, local citizens are concerned that the money could have been better spent.
"We’re throwing out $4 million at a time when we can’t fund the $4 million that they need to build the high school in Souris”, says Steven Myers, a local finance critic.
However, the local lottery commission believes that something must be done, as revenue from traditional lottery games continues to decline. According to Finance Minister Wes Sheridan, the lottery needs to be reinvented so that the government can continue to fund education, arts and healthcare programs across the province. As such, we hope that GeoSweep will see more success in Canada than it has in the UK.