Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government recently announced its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and stirred the pot with its progressive ideas directly affecting the gambling and entertainment field of the province. The changes introduced with the help of this budget faced mixed reviews such as MPP and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner’s position on the subject stating that gambling is prevalent in the budget at the expense of environment projects and social efforts.
When it comes to implementing new policies and introducing innovations to a given field, there are always supporters of the idea and individuals that would oppose it. In this current situation, the response to Ontario’s 2019 budget introduced last week by the government saw many politicians claim that this is a rather party-oriented budget with numerous mentions of gambling, alcohol, and sports betting. Mr. Schreiner stated that the new gaming offerings on a provincial level would come at the expense of other initiatives.
Ontario Budget Seeks Online Gambling, Sports Wagering
Once the budget was officially issued, Mr. Schreiner had the chance to have a better look at the 300-page document and get acquainted with everything it has on offer. He pointed out that the government mentioned gambling and alcohol a total of 65 times throughout the document, whereas crucial topics to the likes of climate changes were found less than 20 times.
This leads the official to think that this budget reflects well the priorities and values of the government. The controversial document devotes more of its attention to liberation of alcohol consumption in special public spaces, as well as free drinks at casino venues across the province, potentially boosting both drinking and problem gambling rates in Ontario.
In the meantime, it does not give as much attention to social services on a provincial level. Student financial support offered by the province is also rather neglected in contrast to the proposed gaming expansion. Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie also stated that city officials should have a say in the implementation of some of the details mentioned in this year’s provincial budget.
Officials Want to Have a Say in Conversation
He said that Guelph is renowned and a preferred destination for thousands of individuals on an annual basis due to its open-air events and sports-related congregations. The fiscal budget could make it possible for Ontarians to purchase alcohol as early as 9 a.m. and drink at special areas of the city, such as some recreational zones.
A push for regulated single-event sports betting was also among the topics listed in the document. Online gambling could also see new names in the foreseeable future if provincial officials work on the subject and open the market. At the moment, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is the sole entity to rule the online gambling sector.
This has its visible impact, as Ontarians are willing to gamble online with the help of offshore gaming operators and bookmakers and pour their money in their pockets instead of into local improvement. As of now, Ontario’s deficit reaches CA$11.7 billion and this liberation could be a step in the right direction eyeing 2024 as the year when things could change deficit-wise. Players spend some CA$500 million on foreign gaming sites on an annual basis.