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CBC Sued Over Online Casino Broadcast

Doug Lewis, Canada’s former Minister of Justice, is claiming that a show airing by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which addressed online casino gambling has ruined his reputation. Lewis served as Canada’s Minister of Justice in 1988; he was the Minister of Transport back in 1990, and also the Solicitor General of the country in 1991. His contribution to the legal community in the Canada and to the country itself is hardly disputed. However, Lewis believes that a show portraying the online casino industry as a threat to the Canadian nation has damaged his public image. Lewis headed an online casino software company at the time the show aired and now is suing CBC for libel.

The show portrayed online casino gambling as “evil” and included an interview with Lewis quoting him saying that the offshore websites that his company was licensing its software to would block Canadian gamblers, while in fact they did not. The legal situation in Canada regarding online casino gambling is far from clear, and although things can be interpreted to each side, the button line from the show was negative, Lewis believes. CBS’s lawyer said that “This broadcast was about that paradox. It’s a big problem in society, and Canadians had a right to know,” and protected the show. With online casino gambling being an international legal issue, it’s hard to tell which side has the upper hand.

As part of the show, CBC’s reporter claimed that he was able to log into one of the online casino sites the featured Lewis’ company’s software, to wager over an online casino game with his credit card, and even had $20 sent to him for his winnings. Lewis’s layer stats that the money, the $20, was sent to the reporter as a refund for his deposit as he was a Canadian player, and the system does not accept bets from Canadian players. The money was not a winning prize and the claims are untrue and distorted. “The reporter was caught. That’s why his money was refunded,” said Lewis’s representative. With online casino’s legality in Canada unclear, this case is going to be extremely difficult to clear.

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.