Alberta Initiates Lottery Vending Machines At Casinos

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) and the Alberta Gaming And Liquor Commission (AGLC) have just started a pilot test on instant lottery ticket vending machines that are being installed at selected gaming entertainment centres and age-controlled land casinos in Calgary and Edmonton. Such vending machines are not new. They are already available at over 2500 lottery retailers throughout the province. What is being tested now is their viability and suitability at land casinos.

These instant lottery ticket vending machines will give casino goers another method of trying their luck in addition to the slot machines and other casino games. In this project 20 lottery ticket vending machines are being installed. The work began on September 21 and is expected to be completed by October 9. The AGLC spokesperson said that the purpose of this pilot project was to ascertain if Albertan gamblers are attracted to this self-serve technology. AGLC CEO and President, Bill Robinson, stated that the commission wanted to ensure that Albertans have the best available options for spending their entertainment dollar. He added that they were mindful of their commitment to social responsibility.

Players who use the instant lottery ticket vending machines will have to validate their age by scanning the bar code located on their driving licence. If you are unable to do that then you will not be allowed to buy a ticket. Robinson pointed out that machines will not retain any information from the licenses. The period of the pilot project is one year. After that the results of the test will be reviewed. The ALGC will then decide whether to continue testing, or initiate expansion of the program or withdraw the machines altogether.

The Alberta Gambling Research Institute's research co-ordinator Robert Williams commented on the program. He did not anticipate any major problems. Given the large number of such terminals already in existence, the small addition would not lead to any surge in lottery gambling. He opined that this was a much better option to permitting the sale of lottery tickets over the Internet 24 hours a day, where rigorous age checks would be more difficult to perform. Williams concluded by saying that the only real concern with the new lottery ticket vending machines was that the problem gamblers may possibly frequent gaming entertainment centres and casinos more often than they do now. And this might tempt them to have a go at the casino games as well, which could exacerbate their problems to some extent.

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