FREDERICTON (GNB) – Legislative amendments to the Gaming Control Act were introduced today in an effort to mitigate risk and protect taxpayers.

The amendments are considered necessary in light of legal proceedings relating to video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming that had been before the court in Newfoundland and Labrador and will be before the Supreme Court of Canada in December.

“Our government is committed to being open, honest and accountable with New Brunswickers,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “It is also one of our priorities to be an affordable and responsive government. While we cannot speak to the specifics of an ongoing court case, I can say that the nature of this action is very concerning; concerning enough that we thought it prudent to take action to protect New Brunswick taxpayers from potentially costly litigation that could affect past, current and future gaming revenues.”

The proposed amendments seek to provide immunity to the provincial government, the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation and casino operators operating under an agreement with the provincial government against potential litigation in regard to the conduct and management of legitimate provincial gaming activities.

These measures would serve to protect the provincial government and its agents who conduct, manage and/or operate provincially authorized gaming activities in New Brunswick under terms and conditions established by the provincial government under this act and its regulations as well as through service provider agreements.

The proposed amendments, however, does not extend the protection in respect of alleged negligence or omissions on the part of the parties.

“We are not waiting to protect taxpayers,” said Steeves. “Without today’s legislative measures, in a worst-case scenario, millions of taxpayers’ dollars could be at risk.”

Affordable and responsive government is one of the government’s key priorities. More information about the government’s priorities and measurements is available online.