One of Canada’s most traditionally conservative provinces is finally reconsidering its ban on casinos and taking a second look at some of the stringent legislation against gambling in its region. Newfoundland and Labrador has had a ban on casinos, with a number of reasons cited for backing their decisions. While some of their reasons for the ban were economic and politically motivated, others were morally motivated.
One of the main reasons that politicians and officials have stuck to as a reason to enforce the ban on casinos in Newfoundland and Labrador is the increasing issue of problem gambling and gambling addiction that the country has seen. This is not, as many have pointed out, simply a Canadian issue. There have been increased reports of problem gambling worldwide, and officials in N.L. maintain concerns over the increased issues they’d see in their own province should casinos be built within their boarders.
However, tides may be changing with the trends and policies surrounding casinos in this province. Recently the Finance Minister, Charlene Johnson, has gone on record as saying that she believes proposals should be taken seriously, whether they’re for a casino or something else. By acknowledging and rewarding the work that people put into creating a proposal with simply giving it careful consideration that is due, Johnson has created a small ray of hope for those who wish to see casinos in N.L. While it’s leaps and bounds away from actually seeing a casino come to fruition, Johnson’s change of heart is a telltale sign of changing attitudes within modern society.
While this change of heart has provided some glimmer of hope that casinos may soon become possible in N.L., there are still those who are adamantly and outspokenly oppositional to the idea. The current Liberal Leader Dwight Ball and the current NDP Leader Lorraine Michael have both gone on record with statements opposing the idea of allowing casinos to be built in the province. While there is still no official word on the lifting of the ban, nor is there any serious consideration for an actual casino, the dialogue opening up about the possibility of allowing them is a huge step in a new direction for Newfoundland and Labrador.