By: Staff –
The internet has a lot to answer for, and in the world of gambling it certainly does. Online betting sites and casinos have been cited as the reasons for the failing fortunes of established land-based casino destinations such as Las Vegas.
On a state by state basis, The United States of America is slowly legalising online gambling despite the vehement opposition of casino moguls such as Sheldon Adelson. The online gambling scene in Canada is somewhat more complex; gambling was the domain of organized crime and money launderers until 1985 when provinces and territories were given the opportunity to legalize all forms of gambling by the government.
Now online gambling is legal in Canada, if it is provided by a licensed provincial government, which it normally isn’t. Over 1,000 unlicensed gambling sites currently operate in Canada with only a small handful being prosecuted by the government.
The government have a tough task on their hands trying to reduce the number of unlicensed sites, such is the amount of them. However, licensed gambling sites will always be the most popular, an example of which is 888 Casino Canada, they offer a big variety of casino games for Canadian citizens, and their players can be sure that they are abiding by the law, a win-win for everyone.
How does gambling benefit Canada?
Economically, gambling benefits Canada enormously with the industry bringing in nearly $20 billion a year which is more than the likes of France, Spain, Russia, Australia, China and Argentina!
Not only does the industry provide large tax revenues for the Canadian government but it leads to a boost in jobs and tourism, with many visitors coming from abroad to sample some of the best casinos in the country.
Could the widespread legalisation of online gambling be a good thing for Canada?
There will always be opposition to any form of gambling when it is legalised by a government and online gambling is no different in Canada. There is opposition from religious and community groups who believe that it would lead to an increase in social problems.
These such groups also believe that the widespread legalisation of online gambling would lead to an increase in problem gambling and would increase the access of gambling to minors. However evidence from countries such as the United Kingdom show that if monitored correctly, the online gambling industry can be an actual benefit to the country.
More exposure to gambling in the UK has been shown to have led to a more mature gambling audience, one that is less likely to encounter problem gambling habits.
Should Canada follow the UK’s lead?
In a word, yes. There seems to be a distinct scent of hypocrisy and irony in Canada when you consider that land-based casinos are legal and the use of them is often encouraged, whilst certain online casinos are prohibited.
Economically it makes total sense for Canada to follow the example of the UK, with increased prosperity for the country by way of more tax revenues and more jobs almost guaranteed. However to lower the risks of problem gambling, Canada would also need to follow the lead of the current UK government and perhaps take on board some of the advice currently being given by the Labour party.
Jeremy Corbyn wants to see stricter rules put in place to lower problem gambling rates, such as limits on fixed odds machines and more tools for gamblers to regulate their habits. If Canada were to follow the current lead of the UK and implement changes such as these, online gambling would thrive in the country.
The government should not have a monopoly on online gambling, rather they should encourage an open market place that is fair on businesses and consumers. Perhaps if Canada leads the way with online gambling, the USA will follow.
Could the USA follow Canada’s lead?
In short, online gambling in the USA is largely illegal, except from in a handful of states that have legalised the process. States where the practice is illegal could follow the example of Canada in regulating online gambling strictly, as a method to trial online gambling’s widespread legalisation.
However what seems most likely is that the United States will eventually skip Canada’s current gambling stance in favour of widespread legalisation of online gambling. It does however seem unlikely that a Trump administration will lead the way in legalising the practice.
Having opened his own casino in Atlanta, eager to reap the benefit of gambling profits you’d think that Donald Trump would be a big advocate of legalising all gambling, but he’s not. You see, Sheldon Adelson is one of his biggest political backers, pumping millions of dollars into Trump’s presidential campaign.
Adelson is also one of the biggest beneficiaries from Las Vegas gambling revenues and is understandably opposed to online gambling as it may damage his own profits. Therefore widespread legalisation in the United States looks unlikely under a Republican government and could have to wait until the Democrats are back in power.