Funding to reduce problem gambling on P.E.I. down by half

Province says reductions due to staff vacancies, change in helpline service provider

The amount of money P.E.I. spends on efforts to reduce problem gambling has fallen by more than half since 2012.

In the fiscal year that ended in March 2017, the province spent $147,179 on responsible gaming initiatives. In 2012 the figure was $295,368.

A government spokesperson said the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness has an ongoing commitment for up to $300,000 in annual funding for implementation of the province's responsible gaming strategy. That funding comes directly from the province's lottery revenues.

In an email, the spokesperson said under-spending in 2016-17 was a result of a number of factors, "including the transition of the leadership for the program as well as temporary vacancies of program staff."

As well, the spokesperson said, the province's gambling support line was switched to a new service provider, which "resulted in significant financial savings."

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