The provincial government is asking Nova Scotians for their viewson the future of gaming in Nova Scotia. Peter Christie, Minister responsible for Part I of the GamingControl Act, and Rodney MacDonald, Minister responsible for theOffice of Health Promotion, released a discussion paper today,Aug. 12, that provides a framework for a gaming strategy for NovaScotia. “We’ll be working collaboratively to ensure that our futureefforts to direct and manage gaming activity are sustainable andresponsible,” said Mr. Christie.”I’m looking forward to hearingthe views of individuals and groups from across the province.” The discussion paper, titled New Directions for Gaming in NovaScotia, identifies issues and challenges facing the industry andproposes a vision, objectives and guiding principles that coulddirect gaming decisions in the future. It provides Nova Scotianswith background and context on the gaming industry and asksspecific questions seeking feedback. “This is a true opportunity to help direct the future approach togaming in our province,” said Mr. MacDonald. “The discussionpaper recognizes the value of being socially responsible whilerealizing the economic benefits of gaming. That balance is veryimportant to our government.” The ministers have appointed Marie Mullally, president and CEO ofthe Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, and Scott Logan, assistantdeputy minister, Office of Health Promotion, to gather thepublic’s feedback by this fall. The release of the discussionpaper and the public input stage are part of a plan to develop acomprehensive gaming strategy in 2005. Gaming revenues for 2004-05 are budgeted to be $170 million, anamount that would fund the salaries of about 3,500 nurses, theconstruction of 17 to 18 elementary schools or about 150kilometres of new twinned highway. The discussion paper is available on the government website atwww.gov.ns.ca/gamingstrategy , through Access Nova Scotia Centresor by calling the government general enquiry line at 1-800-670-4357.