Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Tom Marshall, Charlene Johnson, believes that government should be open to change regarding casino legislature. While land-based casinos are still not allowed in the Newfoundland Province Johnson says that “… things change. People’s views change. So we have to be open to change as well”, leaving the door open for potential casino owners to deliver a solid proposal that will be given a fair review.
For businessmen, this statement alludes to a mass of opportunity despite the province’s current strict casino ban, which is still active. Uncertainty overpowers confidence however for entrepreneurs when reviewing previous attempts at establishing casinos in Newfoundland. In 2012, an undisclosed applicant’s proposal was rejected by the Department of Finance, stating that it was questionable “whether material or fiscal gains” could be achieved from sanctioning the casino.
This flat-out rejection was the final answer to a number of proposals sent to the Finance Department over the years despite Newfoundland being the only other province other than Labrador to ban casinos. However, Johnson is a voice of reason giving taxpaying citizens a trickle of democratic power over the decision about their province. While the unbanning of casinos in Newfoundland will be a cabinet decision, she says that public citizens will be asked for their input first. Public opinion may just weigh in heavily enough to sway the decision of sanctioning casinos in a country where almost every other province has moved on with the times, giving people the right to make their own choices.
While some may view the longstanding resistance against casinos in Newfoundland as a lighthouse of hope in a storm of capitalist greed, there are others who choose to switch the lights on and realize that this scene is just a painting, made by a politician a long time ago, hanging silently on the wall.