The ongoing crackdown by American authorities against foreign operators of online gambling sites begs the question: why haven’t Canadian authorities done the same?
In Canada, only provincial governments are permitted to operate online gambling sites. Yet, there are an estimated 2,000 offshore gambling sites accessible in this country and Canadians are pouring huge amounts of money into them.
Experts say the law is murky and legal opinion is divided over whether these sites are breaking Canadian laws.
In this country, Canadians, according to industry estimates, are shelling out as much as $4 billion annually on offshore gambling sites, even though the Criminal Code states that only provinces may legally run lotteries or betting games on the Internet.
Yet, Canadian authorities have been reluctant to pursue charges against either the customers or operators of these sites.
“There hasn’t been a huge public outcry,” said Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian Gaming Association. “There’s a high level of acceptance of offshore operators in Canada.”
Most of my friends and about half of my co-workers play online poker (a few are ex-grinders). Most choose to play on Pokerstars but I've turned one guy onto a much softer site. The provincial governments are starting their own sites and will attract a lot of lottery gamblers.