The provincial Liberals have always believed in the primacy of the private over the public sector. But on the issue of Internet gambling, they seemingly ignored the advice of the private sector and launched their own online casino, which has now crashed and burned the government. As I earlier reported, in 2008 the association representing Internet gambling companies encouraged elected officials to instead regulate their industry - which exists in a legal gray zone in this country.
According to the Interactive Gaming Council, the government would be seen as expanding gambling if it got into the online betting business, while the regulation of privately-owned operations would be seen as an effort to protect the public.
The council also warned the Campbell administration might not have the expertise to enter the sector on its own.
And, by making the British Columbia Lottery Corp. the sole legal provider of Internet gambling in the province, enforcement activities against its operation would become "virtually impossible" since it's "improbable government would shutdown its only supplier."
Read now, that advice seems prudent if not prophetic making me wonder why - legal considerations notwithstanding - the Liberals didn't take it.
The following is a copy of the relevant portion of the council's pitch.