In the Maritime provinces, a new program seeks up to update the province’s outdated VLTs. Costing $4 million, the government will foot the bill, rather than asking that citizens provide the funds via tax dollars.
Over 6000 VLTs from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation will be updated. Over 250 of them are located in Prince Edward Island, the majority of which are decades old, whereas the average lifespan of a VLT or slot machine is about 10 years. In fact, some are so old that parts can no longer be purchased if they happened to break down.
The cost of replacing each machine in its jurisdiction will cost $15 000, amounting to $3.8 million for the total cost of the program. Whereas you would normally think that the money to make this possible would be provided by taxes paid by residents, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is actually paying for the costs out of pocket.
"They are an entity unto themselves,” says Finance Minister Wes Sheridan. “And they go out and do it with the capital that they have access to. They are a very well capitalized company”.
Very little will change when it comes to the new machines. They will be updated, more innovative versions of older machines, presenting the same odds of winning and similar gaming formats. The machines will also be equipped with responsible gambling features, something that older gaming machines currently do not have. They will provide players with the opportunity to monitor their progress so that they can make informed decisions about their gambling experiences.
Replacing all 6000 machines in the Maritimes will take two years. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation will begin the process of doing so this Fall.