Can Canada Catch Up With US Online Gambling? Or is it too Late?

It must be said that Canadian online gamblers have had an incredibly tough time since the last month of 2013. At first we saw several large online casino operators close their doors to Canadian online gamblers, and then we saw the world’s largest online gambling payment processor, Skrill, withdraw its services from online casino sites that offer online gambling to Canadians. On the other hand, we have, in the last year, watched the USA begin to do a 360 turn around on its stance towards online gambling, and at the end of the day, the Canadian government is going to lose out on a potentially massive stream of tax income if it does not stop Canadian online gamblers from spending at a USA online casino. The government needs to overhaul the old gambling law that makes gambling at any location that is not licensed, including a person’s home, illegal. We actually see two potential options here, let’s take a look at both.

Option 1 is that those online gambling sites that do operate within Canadian gambling law, namely those operated by locally licensed lottery companies, start to offer a full online casino service. At the moment, even though these lottery companies do offer some form of online gambling, they are nowhere near as feature rich as a proper, international online casino site. Unfortunately, they are the only fully legal option for Canadian online gamblers. If these sites were upgraded to deliver a proper online casino experience, they would attract more online gamblers, and tax revenue would flow into Canada’s coffers.

Option 2 is that the Canadian government takes extreme measures to bring gambling law up to date. In the USA, we have several states, including Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey that are now successfully allowing licensed online gambling sites to operate. This has been a huge success, and has bought thousands of American online gamblers back home, and this means that tax revenues from these sites is captured by the local state governments. Canada needs to look long and hard at the way the USA is successfully implementing legalized online gambling at state level, and use it as a template for gambling law reforms.

Unfortunately, in the short term, things still look rocky for Canadian online gamblers. With no comment from the government, and very little in the way of external pressure to force change, we cannot see the situation faced by online casino operators in Canada changing any time soon.

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