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Alberta Puts Gambling Before Schools

20 January 2003

ALBERTA – As reported by the Toronto Star: "On the same day the Red Deer public school board announced it has to trim $3 million from its school renovation project, the Alberta government announced it will spend $105 million to upgrade its VLT machines.

"The next-generation video lottery terminal is faster, brighter, more addictive and contains measures aimed at encouraging gambling addicts to quit — if they decide to activate those abilities.

"…You can tell the school board is scraping for nickels and dimes, when it says it will try to remove blackboards from classrooms dating back to World War II, and install them in the new classrooms. Lockers from the old wings will be transferred to the new project.

"…But the government must, absolutely must, have the latest VLT machines. Gaming Minister Ron Stevens talked about social responsibility in announcing the purchase.

"…Ten million dollars will be spent on system upgrades to existing machines, and $95 million will go to buying 6,000 new machines with the new social-responsibility features…"

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