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Province trying to close online gambling loophole

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by wangpoker, Oct 18, 2006.

    Oct 18, 2006
  1. wangpoker

    wangpoker Experienced Member PABnononaccred2 webmeister

    Occupation:
    affiliate marketing
    Location:
    Ontario/Canada
    Province trying to close online gambling loophole

    Oct. 18, 2006. 01:00 AM
    IAN URQUHART

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    We've all seen the ads on television or heard them on the radio: A poker "star" boasts of his conquests and invites us to visit a website where we can gamble with play money.

    "It's fun," says the poker star. "It's free."

    But upon making the visit, we discover connections to the real thing: a website where we can lay down bets for hard cash, or credit.

    It is through such manoeuvring that the website operators continue to find ways to attract new customers, notwithstanding the fact that gambling on the Internet, or advertising of same, is strictly illegal in Canada.

    Accordingly, the provincial government plans to move to close the loopholes with a blanket ban on advertising of Internet gambling, direct or indirect.

    The ban will be part of an omnibus consumer protection bill to be introduced tomorrow by Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips.

    Phillips is essentially adopting, in government legislation, a private member's bill introduced earlier this year by Jeff Leal, Liberal MPP for Peterborough. Leal deserves credit for bringing attention to the issue.

    There are good reasons for the government to take this step: Internet gambling is highly addictive because it can be played anonymously around the clock, and it is also accessible to underage players.

    But, of course, the province has another reason to curb Internet gambling: It is cutting deeply into the government's share of the take from legal gambling at the casinos and race tracks.

    It is hard to know exactly how much money is being drained away from legal gambling by the illegal sites on the Internet; estimates range up to $500 million a year in Ontario.

    But this much is known: Revenues for the government-owned Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Corp. (operator of the province's casinos) were down $335 million over the past three years and is forecast to drop another $210 million this year.

    Border-crossing problems, the high value of the Canadian dollar, and growing U.S. competition share the blame for this. But there is no doubt that Internet gambling is a factor in the steady decline.

    Some argue that Canada should simply follow the lead of other jurisdictions (Britain, for example) and legalize Internet gambling, with governments either operating the sites directly or regulating and taxing them.

    But there seems to be little appetite for this option among Canadian jurisdictions.

    The Ontario government, for one, has categorically ruled out involvement in the Internet gambling business.

    The next option, then, is to fight the scourge.

    The problem is that, while illegal, Internet gambling is hard to police, as the sites are based either offshore (Antigua, for example) or, within Canada, at the Mohawk reserve of Kahnawake, outside Montreal.

    The United States Congress last month found a way to get at the offshore sites by passing a bill that makes it illegal for American banks to allow their credit cards to be used for online gambling.

    Such action is beyond the jurisdiction of a province, however, as Ottawa is responsible for both the Criminal Code and banking. So Ontario is focusing on advertising curbs for now.

    But Phillips has written a letter to federal Justice Minister Vic Toews to express his concerns about Internet gambling and appeal to Ottawa to join the fight.

    The letter, dated Sept. 28, has a plaintive tone to it as Phillips struggles to capture Toews's attention.

    "The government of Ontario considers illegal Internet gaming to be a serious issue," writes Phillips.

    "It is clear, however, that illegal Internet gaming represents complex regulatory challenges requiring a co-ordinated effort by provinces and the federal government on several fronts ... I would ask for your support and continued engagement on this issue."

    Toews has yet to respond to the letter.

    Somewhat surprisingly given that the federal Conservative government often takes its cues from Washington a spokesperson for Toews explains that Internet gambling is not a "priority" for the justice minister.

    So, the websites will continue to operate with impunity in Canada, but the advertising of them may soon be a little more difficult, at least in Ontario.

    A footnote: Phillips's omnibus bill will also contain sections dealing with real estate fraud, outlawing termination dates on gift certificates, and modernizing the provincial archives.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Oct 19, 2006
  3. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Thanks for the article Wangpoker. Time for me to visit my MP and MPP's offices next time I'm near there. Neither are very far from my house. I could care less if Chris Moneymaker and Pokerstars are allowed to advertise or not. But I do wanna make sure that they're aware of the stupidity that's gone on in Washington, and that if they're even contemplating such a move here...they're in for a fight. Researching all the US stuff has given me a good head start on what needs to be done. There's another consideration here in Canada and that's Kahnawake. There is no way that the Federal Government wants another native conflict to deal with, and I'd love to see them try and tell the Natives that they can no longer operate on THEIR land.

    Hmmm, I haven't been to Ottawa in recent years. Wonder if there's any nice trees in front of the Parliament buildings that I could handcuff myself to (w/the fur-lined variety of course). :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2006
    3 people like this.
  4. Oct 19, 2006
  5. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    I want to see a photo of this. :)
     
  6. Oct 19, 2006
  7. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Absolutely GM, that's the whole point....publicity. I'll send you a press clipping, lol. There's one thing I'm good at, and that's making noise, and lots of it. I dare them to throw me in jail, even better...more publicity. You know how many lawyers would love to take on a case like this pro bono, just for the publicity? It's not about gambling, it's about your rights as a tax-paying citizen...and the Government has no place telling you what you can and can't do in your own home with your own money, provided you aren't causing harm to anyone else.

    Trust me, if I have to camp out in his office...my Member of Parliament will listen to what I have to say. Just gotta make sure I go when he's in town, and not in Ottawa.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Oct 19, 2006
  9. unicorn40

    unicorn40 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    cold storage warehouse worker
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada....
    Now wouldn't that be interesting....How long has the Caledonia/The Six Nations land "protest" been going on now....for months eh? and the Natives are still standing in the same spot blocking the road..... I guess i'll have to keep up on this one too......We sure can't have that happening up here....We all should be able to do what we want with our own money...esp. in our own homes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Oct 19, 2006
  11. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Yep....since May I think? Their Six Nations police actually seized an OPP cruiser and two officers at one point, but later turned them over to the OPP. They've organized marches on the Governor General's residence. We could learn a thing or two from them, when it comes to stuff like this. And while they do have a lot of support, there are still many people who conveniently forget that this is their land, all of it, the whole country. Our ancestors came and laid claim to it. So I sure don't blame them for trying to hang on to what is theirs.

    Hey Uni, you're right on the road to Ottawa...is it okay if I stop in for a refreshment on the way? :D
     
  12. Oct 19, 2006
  13. unicorn40

    unicorn40 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    cold storage warehouse worker
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada....

    I figured it was from around May...They don't show any signs of leaving either...I think the Gov. would get the same kind of reaction from Kahnawake with this other crap...

    Hey Pina......i might just end up going with you.....:D
     
  14. Oct 19, 2006
  15. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    My immediate thought on reading this report in the Toronto Star was that it is yet more political hypocrisy and commercial protectionism (check out those declining Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Corp. - operator of the province's casinos - numbers)

    This, along with the horse-racing lobby wields considerable influence.

    And again we see a whole basket of things wrapped up in an omnibus legislative proposal to confuse and dilute debate:

    Quote: Phillips's omnibus bill will also contain sections dealing with real estate fraud, outlawing termination dates on gift certificates, and modernizing the provincial archives. Unquote

    Fortunately, the national government seems to have more sense than this provincial guy, but a ban on advertising in Ontario would nevertheless embrace a high percentage of the Canadian population, surely?

    And yet again, we have these totally unsubstantiated and one-sided throwaway comments like: "There are good reasons for the government to take this step: Internet gambling is highly addictive because it can be played anonymously around the clock, and it is also accessible to underage players."

    If these folk are using the recent Stanford U research on Internet addiction as a basis for this unproved claim, they possibly missed the following comment:

    "The Stanford study follows several other reports over the past decade that have concluded that internet use can be addictive, including online gambling and the compulsively visiting of pornography sites.

    Mr Aboujaoude [who headed the study] said: "Not surprisingly, online pornography and, to some degree, online gambling have received the most attention [by media] - but users are as likely to use other sites, including chatrooms, shopping venues and special interest websites."

    Hasn't this Ontario provincial politician heard about freedom of speech?
     
  16. Oct 19, 2006
  17. wangpoker

    wangpoker Experienced Member PABnononaccred2 webmeister

    Occupation:
    affiliate marketing
    Location:
    Ontario/Canada
    CP 24 is discussing this case now!
    You can phone your opinion right now.

    The guest on TV suggests to legalise and regulate online gambling.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Oct 19, 2006
  19. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Damn....figures, half an hour too late. Story of my life. What were some of the other calls Wangpoker? Which show was it? Because they usually replay the call-in shows later on in the day, and you can still email them.
     
  20. Oct 19, 2006
  21. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    I just want to see you in your fur-lined handcuffs. :)
     
  22. Oct 19, 2006
  23. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    :eek: And you seemed like such a conservative, proper sort of chap. :p
     

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