Supreme Court To Rule On ALC Class Suit
Musgrave Harbour resident Fred Small says his application to institute a class action lawsuit against the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) with regards to its Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) is more than a mere attempt to call a corporation he believes to be in the wrong to task; because to Small, its also very personal and close to home. Small, who openly speaks of his difficult journey in trying to overcome an addiction to VLTs, together with joint plaintiff Douglas Babstock, are now at the mercy of the Supreme Court of Canada with regards to whether or not they will receive permission to institute the proposed legal action against the operator.
When Small in February came to know about a $5 VLT voucher being handed out by the ALC, his first response was that of wondering to himself whether the operator was actually out to destroy lives, because according to Small, his almost was. Being told of the voucher only confirmed to Small that he should indeed do everything in his power to stop the ALC’s VLT-train.
ALC Says Claims Border On Malice
When news of the possibility of a class action lawsuit against the operator first broke, prominent media publication The Telegram proceeded to contact Small for an interview. Small had at a stage during the proceedings mentioned the voucher-incident to a journalist working for The Telegram. According to the media house, when it questioned the ALC about the vouchers in question, the operator responded by saying that there was absolutely nothing sinister behind the promotion, and that Small’s claims of the ALC being intent on “ruining people’s lives” was in fact bordering on malice, as this had never been the intention.
The vouchers, said the operator, was offered as a type of credit note to players who had purchased a COMBO5 offering from any of the operator’s official retail outlets in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. The idea, according to the ALC, was to give existing Lottery players (of the age of majority, of course) the opportunity to try out something new for their entertainment; and nothing more or less than just that. Said ALC communications counsel Natalie Belliveau in a special press release following the outrage against the vouchers; the promotional coupon offering was no different to any other promotion that had been run by the ALC, or by any other global Lottery operator, for that matter.
Small: ALC Must Refund VLT Gains
For the purpose of their suit, the plaintiffs had managed to gather around 30,000 people who are willing to be cited as plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit in the event that the necessary go-ahead is granted by the country’s highest court.
Plaintiffs Small and Babstock are claiming damages equal to what they have referred to as the “unlawful gain” enjoyed by the ALC as a direct result of its VLT’s.