Mounties Will Not Be Pursuing Prince Edward Island Online Gambling Issue (Update)

Abortive online gambling attempt will not result in criminal charges

The failed attempt by the Prince Edward Island provincial government in Canada to become an online gambling licensing and regulatory jurisdiction surfaced again this week, nine years on from the start of the incident.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police was called in to investigate any criminal activity in the failed deal, which cost the government around Cdn$950,000 through an unrepaid loan to the tribal Mi’kmaq Confederacy (see previous InfoPowa reports).

This week the RCMP reported that after extensive investigation involving the questioning of fifty witnesses, there was no evidence of criminality.

“After an extensive investigation into allegations in relation to what was known as e-gaming, including conducting over 50 interviews, there was no evidence of criminality, or grounds to lay any charges,” spokesman Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie reported.

However, that may not be the end of the PEI matter… the government’s erstwhile partner, Capital Markets Technologies, is suing the government and others, including former premier Robert Ghiz, for Cdn$50 million in damages it alleged were incurred in attempting to set up a financial service centre to process online transactions in the e-gaming venture in 2012.

The company accuses government of “breach of its good faith performance of contract and failure to act honestly in the performance of its contractual obligations.”

CMT will probably be relying to some extent on PEI Auditor General Jane MacAdam’s report into the failed venture, which found that P.E.I. government’s initiative to regulate e-gaming from 2009-12 included actions that demonstrated a lack of “regard for transparency and accountability.”