Ontario Fronts Up to Online Casino Sites
Canadian Liberal MPP Jeff Leal has vowed to ban advertisements for online casino sites in the province of Ontario, despite the hefty taxation revenues collected from online casino site. The local politician’s latest attempt comes in the form of proposed legislation, which if successful, will result in a ban on marketing and advertising online casino sites throughout the province.
Leal’s online casino legislation was recently the subject of hot debate in the Ontario parliament. According to local publication Canoe, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was vocal in its support for the bill, directly attributing the increasing rates of gambling addiction and underage gambling in Ontario to intensified advertising campaigns for online casino sites. Leal has provided some compelling arguments in his attempt to push the bill through the necessary legal process; however some analysts are questioning the politician’s motives. Online casino sites, particularly online poker rooms, are cutting into the market share of Ontario’s more traditional and legalized gambling outlets which enjoy privileged relationships with local government and provide a large part of the province’s taxation revenue.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Caplan has previously stated that competition from online casino sites is a “real factor in the Ontario gaming scene.” A 2000 poll, cited in the Addiction and Mental Health study, found 5.3 percent of Ontario adults had at some time gambled at online casino sites.