To date, online gambling providers are banned from operating on Canadian soil. Note: There are very limited online gambling operations in Canada based on provincial law. Since Canadian gamblers can use online gambling sites that are operating out of other jurisdictions, there hasn’t been much pressure on the Canadian government to make a meaningful move to legalize online gambling operations for the country’s land-based gambling providers. That might soon be subject to change.
In the US, both New York state and Michigan are aggressively pushing legislation that would legalize online gambling options for each respective state’s residents. Sitting on the Canadian side of the border is the city of Toronto. As home to the newly crowned NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, Toronto residents have a reputation for being avid gamblers and sports enthusiasts. The idea that Toronto residents might soon be in close proximity to jurisdictions that fully support certain forms of online gambling, there might well be a constant flow of Canadians heading over the border looking for opportunities to enjoy online gambling closer to home. Rest assured; this is not something that’s going to be lost on the Canadian government.
Could legalized online gambling be coming to land-based gambling operators and Toronto residents anytime soon?
The Push for Online Gambling Legislation in Toronto
Throughout the world, there’s growing support for online gambling as a viable form of adult entertainment. This is true in Asia, South America and certainly in the US where four states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Nevada) have already passed the required legislation to permit its residents to gamble online or through mobile gambling apps. This is putting pressure on the Canadian government to not be the last one to the party.
With that said, the thorn that’s really going to stick in the side of the Canadian government is the potential loss of tax revenues from online gambling operations. Based on the tremendous success the state of New Jersey is having with its online gambling operations, it’s becoming increasing clearer that there’s significant tax revenues available for any jurisdiction that’s willing to step up and legalize online gambling access. To date, that doesn’t include Toronto or any part of Canada.
If the time comes that Toronto residents can jump in the car, drive over the border and get access to online gambling, the tax revenues from said gambling are going into the coffers of the host states, not into the coffers of the Canadian government. The people of Toronto are watching. The people of Canada are watching.
The reality is there might well be more reasons for Canadians to embrace online gambling than there is to continue living like it doesn’t matter. Canadians have always been closely aligned with Americans because of proximity and common cultural factors. Baseball eventually went to Canada. American style football eventually went to Canada. Pro basketball eventually went to Canada, resulting in the country’s first NBA Championship.
Without taking a survey, it’s a good bet the people of Toronto are ready to embrace all forms of gambling, including online gambling. The world’s gambling community is watching, ready to jump in when the Canadian government says go.