Online gambling in Canada has been active for years. However, most of that activity has been directed to offshore gambling sites that accept the Loonie and welcome Canucks with open arms. After all, to offshore gambling operators, Canadians are a lot like Americans who can’t seem to get enough of online gambling. However, from a legal standpoint, online gambling in Canada falls under a grey area that contains several different shades. While the Canadian Criminal Code covers gambling activity in general, online gambling is foreign territory. It is considered taboo, but there is little – if any – enforcement. This is why Canadian gambling revenue at internet-based sites continues to flow outside Canadian boundaries.
Ontario Set A Precedent
On April 4, 2022, Ontario took a bold step into the future of online gambling. The province became the first in Canada to regulate online sports betting, poker, and casino games. What makes this significant is how online gambling in the US impacted the Canadian internet landscape. It all dates back to 2018, when the US Supreme Court ruled that the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) was unconstitutional. That ruling opened the doors for American online sports betting.
For the states of New York and Michigan, a lot of the success they have experienced came from Ontario bettors. Sports betting does exist in Canada, but since 2019, it has been through provincial lotteries, not online. This is one of the primary reasons sports bettors have gone to other venues to participate in this exciting, fast-paced betting option. With many American and offshore sites providing this activity, it is logical to assume that many Ontario gamblers were heading to these sites for their sports betting fix.
The Benefits of Legal Sports Betting In Ontario
Now that Ontario has legalized online sports betting, poker, and casino games, what has this done for the province? Well, several benefits have been created as a result of the legalization. They include the following:
A Positive Impact On The Ontario Economy
It only makes sense that when Ontario online gamblers access sites in their home province, the money they spend stays in that province. Until the Ontario government legalized online sports betting, poker, and casino games, gamblers in the province went to online sites in the US or offshore. Now that money that once flowed out of the province stays in the province.
An Increase In New Jobs And Tax Revenue
Although land-based casino operators made some noise early in the legalization phase, the job creation that online gambling has been credited with is mostly in the technology sector. For example, online gambling sites launched in Ontario in April 2022 have required the assistance of web developers, app creators, cyber security experts, and many other IT-related positions. Plus, each new online site pays fees to the provincial government through taxation. This is how the provincial government earns regular revenue from all gambling venues.
An Addition Of Betting Options For Ontario Gamblers
According to the best online casino reviews, one of the most important benefits of legalized online gambling in Ontario is that these sites provide alternatives to gamblers who have been spending their time on either US or offshore sites. A provincially-regulated online gambling site will also be much safer to access than some offshore sites. There are many problems with offshore gambling sites, including weak security measures that can leave your account information vulnerable to skilled hackers and offshore sites that are in business one day and gone the next with your gaming deposit or winnings. Also, some offshore sites make it nearly impossible to withdraw winnings you may have accumulated. Provincially-regulated sites in Ontario are far more legitimate than that and must meet certain criteria to be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Another Way To Support Local Sports Teams
If you are a diehard Leafs or Argos fan, you are going to want to be able to wager a few bucks on the games that feature your favorite teams. While you could probably do that at some US or offshore sites, it just feels better to be betting on the ‘home’ teams from within your home province. Legalizing sports betting, poker, and casino games online in Ontario provides serious sports fans access to those gambling options.
There Are Still Concerns
As great as legalized online sports betting, poker, and casino games have been for Ontario, the question of how serious the enforcement of the regulations needs an answer. There are concerns revolving around several aspects of the guidelines that may be easy to enforce at a land-based casino or sportsbook, but not as easy with internet-based venues. For example, the level of security protecting personal information is a major concern. Underage gamblers follow that. There must be checks and balances to verify the age of all gamblers opening accounts. Finally, gambling addiction has to be addressed. All three of these matters can be remedied with proper controls in place and utilized when necessary.
Only a few months have passed since Ontario legalized online gambling. It has become a popular option for bettors in Canada’s most-populous province. Undoubtedly, other Canadian provinces and territories are watching the developments closely to determine if and when they will also jump onboard. When you consider the benefits that Ontario residents are experiencing at this point, it won’t be much of a leap to expect several more Canadian provinces to legalize online sports betting, poker, and casino games within the next year. Projections are that the Western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan are in the wings waiting to see what the first year will be like in Ontario. So far, all indications are pointing at it being a huge success for both the gamblers and a major windfall for the provincial coffers. Undoubtedly, a trend will be developing soon in Canada concerning online gambling.