Will Online Gambling Laws in Canada model the United Kingdom_

In Canada and the United States, online gambling laws have been vastly ignored while the rest of the world has slowly gone from an unregulated market to fully regulated. Up until now, Canada hasn’t made or created any online gaming laws on the federal level and have essentially left it up to the provinces to regular their own province. The same goes for the United States where the entire country has largely left online gambling alone with the exception of a rushed UIGEA law that made the payment processing of online gambling illegal but not the act of gambling itself.

Meanwhile in the rest of the world, he’s a short but significant list of countries that have created their own online gambling licensing bodies and are controlling and taxing the business:

United Kingdom

France

Spain

Italy

Romania

Hungary

Netherlands

Philippines

Yes, all of these countries have something that Canada doesn’t have which is online gambling regulation! To date the provincial gambling boards have been responsible for self regulation and especially in Quebec, they don’t seem to like competition from the rest of the online gambling business.

United Kingdom & UKGC online gambling model

For the longest time, the United Kingdom was considered to be one of the leaders of making an effective yet fair set of rules for self regulation within the UK. Some important points worth noting in the UK about online gambling licensing include:

  • 15% tax on gross profits
  • Only UKGC licensed or white listed operators are legally allowed to advertise in the United Kingdom
  • Only licensed operators can accept deposits and wagers from players that reside in the United Kingdom

UKGC 2018 and Beyond

The UK’s licensing model and enforcement was praised up until the ASA got involved and started to enforce stricter rules on both affiliates and gambling operators. Affiliate sites like ThePOGG.com are experiencing pressure to either remain compliant in the UK or leave. This is already having some impact on their ability to provide online casino complaints service where operators are getting pressured to not work with affiliate websites and handle complaints direct or through an ADR. Now the UKGC is putting more pressure on operators to be more complaint and now there is talk that the UKGC might also force affiliates to become licensed as well. This is something that already exists in parts of the United States where the model is criticized as it looks like a money grab and doesn’t really do anything to protect players. Affiliates can see not just stats from the UKGC about the online gambling markets in the UK but also get an idea of future plans to consider regulating and licensing affiliates & webmasters.

http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/survey-data/Gambling-industry-statistics.pdf

Will Canada follow the UK’s Gambling Licensing Model?

Whenever Canada does get around to creating and applying federal laws to regulate online gambling in Canada, there is no doubt that these laws will borrow from other countries that have paved the way for creating laws and finding models that both generate tax revenue and protect players. If Canada had followed the UK’s licensing model up until 2017 then Canada would be an instant leader in online gambling and regulation. However if they follow the current trend in the United Kingdom then it could mean more power and control of the provincial gambling and lottery corporations.

For the time being, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia do have their own licensing and they have their own online gambling sites too. These sites are Playolg.ca in Ontario, Espacejeux.com in Quebec and Playnow.com in British Columbia.

Online Sportsbetting in Canada

If you want to make Canadians pissed off, just ask them what they think of Pro-Line and many will start to vent on the spot. Pro-Line is primarily in Ontario but exists on other provinces and it’s a parlay betting system where you have to make 3 bets or more where a parlay just amplifies the rake the bookies do take in. When you think of betting on sports online and compare it to Pro-Line, there is really nothing to compare. It would be unfortunate if sites and services like Pro-Line remain when users have choice to pick other viable options for betting on sports. It is old laws that keep services like Pro-Line from operating the way they do rather than reacting to what users want and expect from a service provider.

Final Verdict

It might be a few years before Canada makes any changes to existing laws or creates any to attempt to regulate online gambling in Canada. Until that happens, users do have a few provincial based online sites to choose from or the free market which other online casinos and sportsbooks with licenses from Malta and the United Kingdom are free to accept bets from Canadians.

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