Charlene Johnson, Finance Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, revealed that there might be a possibility for casino gambling to be introduced to the province, marking a departure from the Progressive Conservative government’s usual stance of complete rejection.Johnson stressed that ultimately the decision to legislate for gambling in the province will have to come after a public consensus and a green light from the cabinet as a whole.
His declaration comes after a number of proposals, ranging from standard casino and gambling centres to “racinos”, were submitted to the government for consideration. Johnson said, “I think we have an obligation if somebody puts that level of work and detail into a formal proposal, I think it’s only fair to review that. Our current policy is no casinos, but we’d have to give it a fair look.”
When asked if there was a slim chance for a change in gambling laws in the province Johnson replied, “The door is open… I wouldn’t flatly rule it out. But I am guided by our current policy, which is no casino. But we’re open to hearing people all the time.”
Public documents reveal that a casino proposal for the province was rejected as recently as 2012.