B.C. cities should ‘formally request’ online gambling revenue

British Columbia Attorney General’s office recommends steps to be taken by cities seeking to claim a share of online gambling revenues.

Canada.- Cities in British Columbia have called for a share of online gambling revenues generated by the state-run online lottery site, PlayNow.com, while their retail properties remain closed due to Covid-19.

Now the Office of the State’s Attorney General has waded into the discussion, telling cities make a ‘formally request’ if that is an avenue they wish to pursue.

Last week, Arjun Singh, a councillor in the city of Kamloops, B.C., noted that while lockdown measures are in place for offline casinos, revenue for online gambling from PlayNow.com was on the up.

He said: “Obviously, they can track where folks are coming from. If some of that activity has been displaced online now and, obviously, we have a big revenue hole, I wonder whether there is a possibility for us to actually try to lobby for that, try and talk to the province about whether they could replace some of that funding we lost through the offline casinos.”

Now the office for the Attorney General in B.C. has responded to the calls and advised Kamloops and other state cities struggling with no casino tax revenue of how to move the idea forwards.

It said: “Any change to the current host financial assistance agreements between host local governments and the province of B.C. would need to be formally requested by the municipalities and approved by both parties.”

In regards to revenue generated from PlayNow.com, they told KTW: “This revenue helps support key government programs and essential services, including health care and education in communities all across B.C.”

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Attorney General British Columbia online gambling