Should Canada legalize and tax online gambling federally?
Canada took a very different approach to online gambling than other countries. The law says that it should be regulated by the provinces and only governments can run online casinos. There have been no clear moves by Canada's Federal Government regarding private operators.
In 2017, Canadians gambled CA $17.3 billion annually. Lottery came out top with the most participants followed by poker. Online casino games and sports betting make up about a third of the action. There are no legal slot sites or casinos in Canada. People gamble offshore when they want to play casino and when betting on sports.
There is a $5.7 billion problem with online gambling in Canada. The UK leads the world in this regard. Canada needs to legalize and regulate online casino games and sports betting. It also needs an enforcement agency to chase offshore sites that sign up Canadian players. It can also help to reduce problem gambling. iGaming is good money, especially when it can be used for the social good. There are national gambling organizations already exist. They can help problem gamblers.
Before entrepreneurs invest millions into opening legal (taxable) sites, they need regulatory clarity. Canada needs to legalize and regulate online casino games and sports betting at a federal level.
The UKGC rakes in millions per year in licencing fees and billions more into the coffers of Her Majesty’s Government. Offshore casinos don't accept UK players without a proper UK gambling license.
Third, we need to set up an enforcement agency with teeth to chase offshore sites that sign up Canadian players. Offshore sites in Panama and Costa Rica have to go as they are unregulated and don't have the interests of players in mind.
It allows us to funnel Canadian players into safe, regulated casinos that abide by the law.
There are national gambling organizations already. They connect Canada-made casino sites with problem gamblers.
Regulation would allow us to stamp out money-laundering and other financial crimes associated with offshore online gambling. Clean money is good money, especially when we can tax it and use it for the social good.
The government is considering legalizing and taxing online gambling federally.