Video Lottery TerminalsThis class action was brought in 2009 against Atlantic Lottery Corporation Inc., a private business corporation in which the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a 25% shareholding.
Video lottery terminals or VLTs are a form of continuous electronic gambling which differs from lotteries in that they are electronically programmed to create cognitive distortions of the perception of winning. These cognitive distortions are intended to keep the consumer engaged and losing money. The class action claims that VLTs are inherently deceptive, inherently addictive, and inherently dangerous when used as intended.
The class action has been brought by the Piercey family on behalf of all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who have gambled on VLTs. The Plaintiffs say that Atlantic Lotto knows or ought to know that VLTs are inherently deceptive, inherently addictive, and inherently dangerous when used as intended, but has embarked on a "responsible gaming strategy" with messages to consumers which place the onus of responsibility for control and the resulting harm from loss of control on consumers. The purpose of this message strategy is to blame consumers for problem gambling and divert attention from the fact that problem gambling is a natural result of design features of the VLT.
The Plaintiffs argued in an earlier proceeding that VLTs do not comply with consumer protection law, specifically the Trade Practices Act of Newfoundland and Labrador. The class action sought relief in the nature of an aggregate monetary award and such other relief that the court considered appropriate. A copy of the TPA Statement of Claim may be viewed by clicking below. The action was dismissed on the ground that ALC is a Crown agent and the TPA does not apply to the Crown.
Class counsel met with Justice Dymond, the case management judge, in June 2009. He set October 1, 2009 as the date for us to file our certification materials. Certification determines whether we can proceed as a class action, and is very important. The date for filing of materials was later changed to December 11, 2009 and the materials are available below, including the Amended Statement of Claim, the updated affidavit of Dr. Harrigan, and affidavits of Sheri Geehan, Bob Tucker and Keith Piercey.
If you think you may be eligible to join the class action, please contact Sheri Geehan at (709) 579-4000 or (888) 579-3262.
Statement of Claim issued 2009