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Alberta Casions

23 October 2001

Alberta provincial government announced it would uphold a suspension on casinos and a cap on video lottery terminals. The Gaming Minister Ron Stevens said that the consumers insist for gambling has to be tempered by public approval and its social impacts. ``Gaming policies must take into account the views of Albertans and local community standards regarding future growth.'''' New casinos won’t be built or expanded until specific standards for the facilities and activities are finalized and approved Stevens said. Currently VLTs are available at 1,260 locations in Alberta. Alberta will carry on limiting the number of VLTs in to 6,000, but will decrease the number of locations by 10 to 15 per cent over the next three years. Klein government announced that now it will be compulsory for staff at casinos, bingo halls and VLT locations to feel problem gambling awareness training. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission found that Albertans generally don''t want to expand gaming activities study, which produced more than 60 recommendations. The communities wanted a more prominent role in whether casinos or bingo halls are introduced. Although more than half of Albertans feel the accessibility of VLTs should remain the same, just under half said they wanted less accessibility of VLTs, the study suggested. The study also said the public is concerned about the potential problems associated with gambling. Alberta moved the playing level field between bingo halls and casinos, permitting bingo halls to introduce hand-held electronic bingo and electronic keno.

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