Online Gambling in Canada Faces Hurdles
Canada is Looking to expand its Online Sports Gambling with the rising popularity of Esports and Fantasy Sports.
Unfortunately, there currently is a federal ban on sports gambling in the country of Canada but there have been an ease in regulation by some provincial governments. Although choice is limited, the option to place a wager in a professional sport still exists as long as you place a bet on more than one game at a time, but given the high regulations most people including serious gamblers still prefer offshore markets.
Canadians spend around 4 billion dollars annually, and if somehow they can lift most of the national ban on online gambling, that would generate a huge source of revenue for the country and that could ultimately ease some of its current GDP debt.
Lawmakers have been trying to legalize online gambling since 2011 unfortunately without much progress. One of the biggest hurdles is the Safe and Regulated Online Gambling Act which tries to focus on consumer protection. Since most of the offshore gambling sites are only regulated minimally, there is an argument for worries of collusion, game fixing, and underage activity.
Here is where the underlying problem begins and ends. For almost a decade the government has tried to ease some of the online gambling bans but without damaging some of the regulatory integrity that needs to exist for there to be a fair and competitive market.
Because most Canadian prefer offshore sites, this imposes a very difficult decision for the government, on one hand they understand the opportunity to be gained by the growing popularity of Esports and Fantasy Sports, but on the other hand it is their obligation to protect the Canadian consumer by unlawful and unfair practices.
Maybe Canada can look to its neighbor to solve some of its current issues on online gambling. The US has had legislation passed in a number of states including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and Mississippi to legalize all types of online gambling.
The effort is to try to establish a federal movement for state run regulations, If most of the states follow along then regulation will grow large enough by the supply and demand of the free market. Even though the US market is significantly higher than in Canada any progress would definitely have a positive impact on the conservation of freedom and help the infrastructure in most provinces.
In order for this to happen the Government has to find a way to collect taxes on the more than 4 billion dollars spent by Canadian citizens, and this should boost the economy and increase revenue that would help with social help, rebuilding infrastructures, increasing funds for education and health care systems. This will require and effort on politicians to find a common ground and a solution to the roadblocks currently in place, they will also have to negotiate an agreement with the gambling industry, unfortunately this is highly unlikely to happen anytime in the near future.