Online gambling represents huge business in 2015, with the remote gaming sector set to achieve a cumulative value in excess of $182 billion by the end of the year. It is even beginning to achieve greater levels of popularity in the U.S., where several states including California are striving to offer legalised gambling to their residents.
While legalised gambling is only legal in three U.S. states at present, there is at least a clear distinction with regards to where this type of gaming is permitted. The same cannot be said for Canada, however, as the gaming represents a something of a ‘legal grey area’ north of the U.S. border.
So what exactly do we mean by ‘legal grey area’? To begin with, Canadians who enjoy playing a few hands of Internet poker need not be concerned at the prospect of being investigated for pursuing their past-time. The issue of legalised gambling in Canada is both topical and ongoing, and there is certainly no risk of gamers being prosecuted for indulging in after-hours casino games or visiting sites such as Royal Vegas in Canada. There are legal considerations that these individuals will need to bear in mind, however, especially as the laws continue to change.
The main issue is that Canada has fallen behind other nations in relation to its ethos concerning gaming. While states in America are beginning to revise their laws and embrace the demand for online gaming, Canada has remained entrenched in a more traditional philosophy. Whether you consider offshore gambling sites or file sharing, Canada’s laws do not respect the progressive or inter-connected world that we live in today. More specifically, while the nation itself operates provincial laws that prohibit online gambling, the Internet knows no provincial boundaries and therefore creates an uncertain climate.
This means that Canadian gamblers are not technically doing anything wrong in relation to the law. There is no clause or specific item of text that makes visiting an offshore gambling site illegal, although authorities are beginning to understand that the existing ambiguity is enough to deter some citizens.
This has prompted Canada to consider revising its Internet gaming laws, with a view to legalising some aspects of remote gambling and monetising its revenues in the process. This has certainly been beneficial in Vegas, New Jersey and Delaware, where online gambling is well-regulated and generates huge amounts of capital for public bodies.