Prince Edward Island Investment Questioned

Provincial government faces a row over Geosweep

News came this week that the Canadian provincial government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is facing raised voices over the investment of Cdn$4 million it made in the British internet gaming company Roboreus and its Geosweep product, after the service failed to provide satisfying results in the British market.

Namely, the daily income of Geosweep, an unusual lottery in which instead of wagering on a lottery ticket number, the punters buy their favourite "geo" - a specific point in the organising country (in this case Atlantic Canada), saw a daily income of only GBP120 as a pilot program in the UK.

Of course, this was a cause for concern in Canada, especially since Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick each invested Cdn$4 million into the project. There were provinces that declined to get involved in the venture, such as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, speaking in support of the project, PEI Finance Minister Wes Sheridan stated that Atlantic Lottery products need new offerings to maintain revenues, assessing that Geosweep could pay for itself in three years.

"You have to take a look at a concept where you think it may be something that would turn a very good investment dollar over," he said, adding: "If we sit idly by and let our revenue sources continually decline we'd be in no position to continue to have government grow."

Against the project was opposition finance critic Steven Myers, who took into consideration the U.K. pilot failure, and opined that Sheridan should have followed the lead of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

"We're throwing out $4 million at a time when we can't fund the $4 million that they need to build the high school in Souris and we can't get the $1.2 million to build an expansion on the Montague Intermediate school. It seems like a bad time to be gambling our money," he said.

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