Canadian Land Gambling Threatened by Online Casino Industry
New statistics on the inroads into traditional gambling markets made by the online casino industry in recent years have just been released. According to the Canadian Gambling Association, $500 million is lost by Canadian gambling businesses to online casino firms every year. The figure was announced by the organization’s head Bull Rutsey, who is a long time supporter of Canada’s $14-billion land gambling industry and a vocal opponent of online casino firms. Comments from Rutsey were widely reported in several Vancouver newspapers after he addressed 600 gambling industry representatives at the Association’s national conference and trade show.
Rutsey told delegates that online casino firms are a huge threat to Canada’s gambling industry, saying “millions just disappear – the money is sucked right out of the economy.” He went on to say that online casino gaming is such a competitive threat that legal authorities need to take steps to deal with the issue. Rutsey pointed out that that online casino and sports betting firms are illegal in Canada and the U.S., but in the past five years, internet gambling has grown from a $5 billion business worldwide to $12 billion today.
The Canadian Gambling Association has gone on record to say that while gambling at online casino sites is difficult to prevent, land-based casinos are determined to fight back. Some of the initiatives casinos are implementing to compete with online casino firms include live entertainment in gaming halls, along with lower prices on food and beverages. Currently the Canadian gambling industry employs more than 50,000 people. Casinos and lotteries reap the largest part of annual gambling revenue.