It seems online scammers have a different kind of fishing in mind in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — the kind spelled phishing.
Two Maritime casinos, Casino Nova Scotia and Casino New Brunswick, were recently the target of fraudsters as part of an elaborate social media scam designed to unlawfully obtain users’ personal and banking details.
According to CTV News Atlantic, a series of posts featuring co-opted imagery and logos from the Nova Scotia gambling and New Brunswick gambling facilities were circulating on Facebook and Instagram. Specifically, the posts included unauthorized photos of the casino, along with debit and credit card icons.
They also had a “sponsored” label, adding an additional layer of deceit to the con.
Casino operator confirms ads are fake, police notified of scam
Great Canadian Entertainment, the operator of both gaming locations, confirmed the hoax in a statement to CTV.
Further, the gaming and hospitality giant added the East Coast con to the scam alerts page on its website. Here, users will find a list of signs to look out for when dealing with potential cases of fraud, including:
- Fake emails, domain names and website links that are confusingly similar to GCE
- Social media apps that include the GCE name, logo or other GCE trademarks
- Mailed letters or promotions that include the GCE name, logo or other GCE trademarks
- Text messages that claim to be from GCE or a GCE team member
According to GCE, it will never contact and ask players for personal or financial information, or require they pay a fee to engage with promotional materials.
Service Nova Scotia reported the fraud to police after being contacted by CTV. The government agency also urged Nova Scotians to exercise vigilance when dealing with online activities involving personal details and financial information.
Atlantic Lottery site is Maritime’s only legal online wagering platform
As noted by Service Nova Scotia, Casino Nova Scotia does not offer an online gambling application. The same is true for Casino New Brunswick.
At this time, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is the sole legal provider of online gambling for the Atlantic provinces. Through its website, players can access an array of iGaming options, such as Scratch’N Win, iBingo, PROLINE sports betting, lotteries, and classic casino games.
The crown corporation is coming off a banner 2022-23 fiscal year that produced a net profit figure of $492.2 million. This signified a $54.1 million increase year-over-year.
Notably, the company attributed the rise in profit to Nova Scotia’s online casino product that quietly went live last July. When it launched, Nova Scotia became the second Atlantic province to offer online casino through ALC.
As a whole, the iGaming sector performed admirably in 2022-23. Net revenue reached $100.1 million, representing an increase of $23.2 million or 30.2% over the previous year. Online casinos accounted for $36.9 million of the revenue figure, with digital instant games leading the way at $60.1 million. Lastly, iBingo contributed $3.6 million to round out the $100.1 million total.
Though, as PlayCanada also pointed out recently, revenue of $1.96 billion from the the open online gambling sector in Ontario was about 20 times higher than the four Atlantic provinces combined over the same period. And, per capita, Ontario’s online gambling revenue was 3.25 times higher than that of Atlantic Canada.