Drop in lottery revenue concerning: Opposition

CHARLOTTETOWN – The Official Opposition is raising concerns about a multi-million dollar drop in lottery revenues to the province reported in the Public Accounts documents recently released by government.

Contained in the Consolidated Financial Statements of the province for the 2014/15 fiscal year is a disclosure that the PEI Lotteries Commission has entered into an agreement with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation to withhold a sum of $200,000 monthly from the province’s profit distribution until March 2019. The amount of profits being withheld over the next four years from April 1, 2015 until March 31, 2019 will amount to $7.6 million.

“The province’s share of profits from ALC help fund important public services on the Island like health care, schools and infrastructure so any time you have a multi-million dollar drop in revenue to the province it’s a cause for concern,” said Belfast-Murray River MLA and Opposition Finance Critics Darlene Compton

Compton added that the $7.6 million in profits being withheld is in addition to the approximately $4.5 million that the province wrote off this spring  as part of its failed investment in Geosweep. The Consolidated Financial Statements also indicate that the PEI Lotteries Commission is also responsible for all loans and costs related to the province’s failed investment in GeoSweep.

“The government has invested a lot of time and treasure in recent years towards trying growing its share of lottery revenues through various investments and failed ventures. So when you see potential shortfalls in the millions of dollars it raises questions about the government’s budgetary plans,” said Compton.

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