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Quebec Hoping to Regulate Online Poker and Sports Betting Later This Year

7 February 2010 by Devon Chappell

Quebec to Liberalize the Maple Leaf?

Quebec to Liberalize the Maple Leaf?

It really does seem like online gambling regulation has been the sole focus of the Online Casino Suite Blog these past few days. But what can I say, it’s not my fault. Blame it on the lack of regulation in “certain” countries. Or for a more optimistic view, perhaps I should say, blame it on a shifting regulatory landscape amidst the major player’s in the industry. Obviously, the United States is one of the major players I am referring to, and of late, has been at the middle of a heightened battled to implement an online gambling ban while regulatory legislation simultaneously makes it’s way into the House of the Representatives. Oh, and let’s not forget the Super Bowl.

Another major player in the internet gaming industry is Canada, which has long taken the same stance which the United States did before the passing of the UIGEA. And that, my friends, is the stance I like to call “shifty”. You know, the classic middle-gray area where you keep both sides of the gulf appeased as best as possible. Then again, shiftiness oftentimes comes down to the execution of power, or the lack thereof.

And in the case of Canada, it has mostly been the latter. You see Canada is essentially home to the Kahnawake tribe, which just so happens to operate one of the largest online casino and poker regulatory commissions in the online gambling industry. While Kahnawake operating licensees are free to take bets from citizens wherever they choose, there is no denying the fact that Canadians are giving lots of potential tax dollars to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, not to mention several other regulatory bodies. More precisely, it is estimated the Canadian online gambling industry is worth $675 million.

Perhaps this is why Canada now appears to be taking a more tolerant air toward the idea of regulation. Although it looks as if only online poker and sports betting is being considered for the time being, it’s a start, nonetheless – And a good start at that. This week, Quebec’s Finance Minister announced plans to introduce online poker by September of 2010, with major support from Loto Quebec (no surprise there). Of course, the opposition is already on it’s high horse, citing that online gambling will only increase underage and problem gamblers. However, Loto Quebec has been just as quick to retort with evidence of reports and public health studies showing otherwise.

Of course, nothing is certain at this stage in the process. There is still a long way to go before Quebec will be out of the clear and given a green light to begin regulating online poker and sports betting. Let’s just say the prospects are looking really, really good.

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