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Internet Betting Regulations in Canada: Update on Provincial Regulatory Policies

15 October 2010 by Devon Chappell

As online gambling becomes legal and is regulated in more and more countries these days, it can be confusing keeping up with the regulatory differences between various jurisdictions. Where all forms of remote wagering are legal in one country, only poker and sports betting are legal in another.

In the case of Canada, things tend to get even more confusing. To say that internet betting is legal in Canada is slightly misleading, for while there are areas in Canada where this is the case, there are other areas…err…provinces where there is no regulation whatsoever. The key word here is “province”, for if we were to take a refresher in our World History 101 (thanks be had to Wikipedia), we would remember that Canada is a federation made up of ten provinces and three territories.

While the parliamentary federal government can initiate national policies in provinces, i.e., the Canada Health Act, provinces have the choice of opting out, although this is rarely the case. Canada’s provincial legislature’s operate in the same manner as the House of Commons (parliamentary fashion), and are responsible for most of Canada’s social programs.

In fact, Canada’s provinces collect more revenue together than the federal government. Therefore, when the question to regulate online gambling is at hand, it is within the power of each provincial legislature to say nay or yay. On a side note, if and when the U.S. legalizes online gambling on a federal level, there will be a similar setup for individual State government’s.

Now, to clear up any confusion about online betting regulation in Canada, let’s go over the yay’s and nay’s.

Canadian Provinces where online gambling is NOT regulated (notice how I didn’t say illegal, for that’s still a gray area): Newfoundland & Labrador (Click Here to read up on Newfoundland) and Nova Scotia. Yes, even with a proposed $203 million budget deficit, and an admittance by the Nova Scotia Gaming Commission that online gambling will continue to flourish, Nova Scotia Premier Darrel Dexter is on record stating, “internet gaming is not going to be considered”.

Canadian Provinces where regulation is either already underway or being considered: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Alberta

One Response to “Internet Betting Regulations in Canada: Update on Provincial Regulatory Policies”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Online casino regulation in Canada should really be pushed so that they could also collect an additional tax revenues for the good of their recessing economy.