The BCLC has made it clear it wants to bring its PlayNow online gambling website to samrtphones and tablets, but critics point out the dangers of addiction and the influx of young gamblers such a move could create.
Nonetheless, the lottery corporation this week put out a call to mobile app developers to test the waters of turning PlayNow into a mobile app. Its current website is not optimized for mobile devices.
NDP MLA Shane Simpson is worried that too many teenagers and young adults, who are the most common users of smartphones and heavy app downloaders, will get hooked on the convenience of PlayNow in moblle form and treat it like a game, not a real gambling scenario.
But the BCLC says it needs to meet the demands of its users, with CEO Michael Graydon describing the company as "not creating a channel" but rather "responding to a channel that exists today." He noted that illegally operated websites accessible in BC already have mobile apps, and the purpose of PlayNow is to attract users to legal gambling.