Canadian Online Gambling Laws Challenged

Published Thursday, November 03, 2011 -

The law regarding online gambling in Canada is clear, it is illegal, but the government turns the blind eye o the activity. Ontario member of parliament Joe Comartin's private member's bill to change the Criminal Code and allow betting on single games is gaining traction in the country.

A recent report in the Winnipeg Free Press is saying that the possible passage of the private members bill may make the advent of online gambling a reality sooner than later.
The bill passed its second reading in Parliament recently without any real opposition, and is headed to a justice committee, then it must go through a third reading before a final vote in the legislature. The new law would legalize sports betting on football, baseball or basketball games at casinos and racetracks.

The vice-president at the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, said single-game betting is also big business on the Internet.
"This really isn't new," Burns said, "The customers are doing it now, but the (provinces) aren't getting the money."  Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are watching the experience of British Columbia and Quebec which have gone with a sanctioned legal online gambling offering. Ontario is ready to launch its internet gambling site in 2012.
"Manitoba Lotteries is continuing to monitor what's happening with online gaming in other jurisdictions in the country," a provincial spokeswoman commented recently, "At this time, Manitoba has not made any decision to enter into the online gaming business. We're going to keep an eye on what other jurisdictions are doing and will use those observations to influence our decision."

A Canadian Gaming Association study released recently found legalized gaming has nearly tripled since 1995 -- $15.1 billion in gaming wins in 2010 compared with 6.4 billion in 2010. The private members bill will modernize the old law to include action other than the game's outcome, such as the number of shots on goal in a single period or which player scores the first goal.



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