Quebec Online Gambling ISP Blocking Issue Confused

Published Sunday, June 28, 2015 -
Quebec Online Gambling ISP Blocking Issue Confused

The Internet has caused jurisdictional issues for governments all over the world that want to control content and use of the net in certain areas. Some online gambling operators are aware of the detrimental effect that doing business on the net where it is considered illegal can do for a company reputation.

Online gambling operators are leaving markets that have either changed the laws regarding online betting or have finally gotten around to enforcing existing regulations.

Canada is an example where it is against the federal laws of the land to operate an online casino or poker room but there is confusion as to how the laws are enforced. One method used by governments which is controversial from a number of points of view is the censorship or blocking of internet site by the internet service provider. The Canadian government however may not have that option with the existing laws in Canada such as the Telecommunications Act, which prohibits carriers from controlling “the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.” ISP’s are effectively prohibited from unilaterally blocking content.

However this law may be history for the province of Quebec which earlier this year announced plans within its budget. “A legislative amendment will be proposed to introduce an illegal website filtering measure. In accordance with this measure, Internet service providers will not be allowed to provide access to an online gaming and gambling website whose name is on a list of websites that are to be blocked, drawn up by Loto-Québec.”

This action could lead to court battles and some feedback from freedom of the internet advocates. A working group on online gambling was set up by the Quebec government which recommended the opposite action. “The Working Group believes that in order to control the online gambling market, protect consumers and generate revenues for the government, the best solution for the government is to establish clear rules and open up the online gambling market to private operators. In fact, the best solution is to establish an online gambling licensing system.”



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