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B.C. Government Stands By Online Gambling Venture

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It was not exactly the type of grand opening an online casino would hope for. Just hours after launching, PlayNow.com, the online gaming site in British Columbia, was shut down due to malfunctions in the security on the site.

Although there was always going to be a learning curve, online gamblers were not expecting that their private information would be out there for other players to see. When the B.C. Lottery recognized the problem, they immediately pulled the site down.

Now, a week later, the B.C. government is standing by their site. Premiere Gordon Campbell claims that he still has confidence in the site and the people who are operating PlayNow.com. Campbell understands that patience is going to have to be part of this process.

"I think we always have to be vigilant," said Campbell, when speaking to reporters late last week. "We have to learn from all the mistakes that are made and when mistakes are made, I think that's exactly what they've tried to do."

Other online gaming sites that are regulated in other jurisdictions have come out and claimed that the B.C. Lottery Corp. has been careless and the breach of private trust is one that will be hard to get back. That is not the feeling of gamblers, however, as they wait for the site to re-launch.

"I have been waiting a long time to be able to play slots online at a place where the government ensures my safety," said Margaret Lindsey. "If I have to wait a couple of more weeks, that's fine. I have full confidence that this will be worked out and will not happen in the future."

The US, along with other Canadian provinces, are looking into the possibility of Internet gambling regulations. If the B.C. online gaming site is successful, other provinces may move quickly into the market. The US would instantly become the largest grossing regulated online gambling market in the world if legislators change the current laws.

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