Canadian Online Gambling Legal Showdown Eminent

Published Monday, March 14, 2016 -
Canadian Online Gambling Legal Showdown Eminent

In many jurisdictions around the world online gambling has been regulated licensed and given a chance to flourish. In many other areas governments have been slow in changing gambling laws or have not done much to discourage ongoing illegal internet betting.  

Canada is an example of a jurisdiction that is slowly but surely making its way through the current situation that has seen provincial governments offering online gambling in an attempt to lure punters away from offshore operators. The provincial offerings are for the most part doing well although competition from foreign internet gambling services is fierce. Back at the end of 1985 the Federal government of Canada agreed to amend the Criminal Code, to grant the provinces exclusive authority, either alone or in conjunction with the government of another province, to conduct and manage lottery schemes in accordance with any laws enacted by the legislature of that province. The expressions lottery and lottery schemes are legally interpreted broadly and incorporate additional forms of gambling and games of chance including betting on sports, bingo, card games like poker and, potentially, fantasy sports betting including those wagers made on a computer.

Online gambling entities that minimize or eliminate connections with Canada fall into legal limbo that utilizes the jurisdictional clause exempting these offshore internet betting operators from legal threat. The government is realizing that online gambling is a source of revenue that is eluding them. It has been suggested that they are making moves that will significantly alter the gambling landscape in Canada.

One province on the edge of these changes Quebec has decided to move forward with a plan to order Internet service providers to block a list of unlicensed gambling websites. It has been argued by the stakeholders involved that the government of Canada must clarify laws and pursue policy objectives that increase innovation and attract competitive businesses. Clarifying the legal grey areas with respect to online gambling would create innovative businesses that could provide the Canadian economy a great boost.  




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