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Concern over the Rise of Internet Casino Gambling in Canada

Last week a few Canadian federal and provincial officials met with representatives of the gambling and casino industry in order to discuss their concerns over the rise of internet casino gambling. Canadians are gambling on the internet more and more and this phenomenon was the topic of concerned discussions between officials and leaders of the casinos and racetracks. Last week the group met to discuss the alarming rise of online casino gambling and what can be done to curb it. Starting from almost nothing a few years ago, Ontarians are now spending $300 million on gambling a year on online gambling: betting on poker or horse races from the comfort of their own home.

In theory, internet casino gambling is strictly illegal in Canada. The problem exists when the gambling sites are located off shore or in the Indian Reserves of Quebec, making it rather tough for law enforcement agents to curb them. The official and leaders of the casinos and racetracks said that they felt that the rise of internet casino gambling was affecting their bottom line. Revenues from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission, which operates the province’s casinos, have declined by $335 million over the past three years and are expected to drop another $210 million this year.

The officials who met last week agreed that there is still much work that needs to be done in order to fight internet casino gambling. They said that a proper plan of action needs to be formulated and they would meet again next month. Following the recommendations from these joint meetings, government intervention is considered possible.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.