Canadian media company Torstar to launch an online casino in Ontario
Torstar – the owner of one of Canada’s oldest and most influential news organisations and publisher of various national newspapers – has come out with an innovative idea to try to keep financially afloat amidst dwindling revenue streams from advertising and circulation, affecting the print media worldwide.
The owner of the Toronto Star, the Hamilton Spectator, and other publications announced that it plans to launch an online casino in Ontario later this year, to create a new revenue stream for its newspapers.
Conceding that the news organisation has seen its revenue fall significantly during the last years, Torstar’s chief corporate development officer, Carey Goodman, said that the online gambling option will help to pay for “world-class journalism”.
A gaming industry consultant hired by Torstar to help create the online casino said that although it’s too early to predict how much money the news organisation will make from this initiative; it will help to create a new revenue stream to fund its journalism.
“What we do know is that Torstar is looking at diversifying the revenue model of how we fund and pay for reporters, columnists and editorial staff”.
This is only one of the latest initiatives by the Canadian media group to try to shore up its revenue to make up for the loss of traditional income from advertising.
Last November, the company launched a parcel delivery service and earlier this year it partnered with retailer Gold Town to purchase the SCOREGolf brand.
Although various news media organisations around the world are scrabbling to find new sources of revenue, as the advent of digital media has given them an almost life-threatening knock, critics are worried that these initiatives might have a negative impact on the independence of journalism.
Many argue that if news organisations start depending on other businesses and government grants, it might be too difficult to report objectively on issues related to their own new income streams.
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