Quebec's Attempt to Block Online Gambling 'Unworkable'

Published Tuesday, July 12, 2016 -
Quebec's Attempt to Block Online Gambling 'Unworkable'

Canada has always been a country that has worked with compromise as a solution to many issues that a relatively new nation encounters. In the online gambling industry there are legal grey areas that even reputable online casino operators take advantage of and thrive in. Canada has federal rules regarding internet betting that are left up the discretion of the provinces and territories to administer and interpret.

Quebec has recently authorized certain entities to offer virtual casinos and gambling and in order to maintain the rules applying to online betting the provincial government has blocked access to some internet domains that offer gambling services to Quebecers.

Outrage has ensued over the implied censorship of the internet and gambling content. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) which advocates for the fair and balanced interpretation and application of Canadian law in order to protect and preserve the public interest has taken up the legal challenge advocating for free uncontrolled access to gambling web locations.

The group has filed an application with the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in objection to Bill 74, the controversial legislation passed in Quebec’s parliament recently. Those advocates of freedom of internet have called Bill 74 an unprecedented act of online censorship and that Quebec’s profit-based protectionism is liable to a constitutional challenge.

PIAC put the argument in precise terms, “There is no overwhelming policy goal that would justify the drastic step of approving blocking of certain content from the Internet, whether to enable Bill 74 or as a moral or public policy goal. The Commission has no evidence of such a need and PIAC submits that such evidence would have to be of an evil so overwhelming that it trumped the rights of all users of the Internet for otherwise lawful purposes and expression – an extremely high, most likely constitutionally impossible, barrier.”

If the law is left to stand a precedent will be set and other provinces in Canada may follow suit.


Related news

Return to Latest News