Gambling in Canada is an industry with a turnover exceeding CA$14.5 billion a year according to the official statistics. The country houses 70+ casino houses, 100k+ slot machines and about 25k+ temporary casino and bingo-type establishments. Read more
In Ontario, there is one slot machine per 350 citizens, while the growth rate equals 15% per year approximately. On average, each Canadian over 19 years (not counting tourists) spends from CA$600 to CA$900 on gambling annually. Gambling, roughly speaking, regulated by the state like a franchise where license is acquired through the Commission on alcohol and gambling; provincial governments determine the type of games allowed in their territory. For example, Ontario and British Columbia allow casinos, horse racing and slot machines, while video lottery terminals and similar gaming machines are prohibited.
The cost of building and equipping a permanent casino is estimated at 40-50 million Canadian dollars approximately. Establishing a temporary casino (including ships and hotel rooms) is cheaper (40 – 60%). The price of a legal Canadian casino operating in full accordance with the provincial regulation starts from CA$80 million.
Online Casinos Of Canada: The Regulation Point Of Reference
Conducting gambling business in Canada is illegal until it is not legally regulated in accordance with the statements indicated in the country’s Criminal Code as well as sanctioned by the authorities of all the Canadian provinces. The legislating responsibilities have been delegated to provinces, considered to be the main stakeholders when it comes to casino or poker room legalization. The full powers have been granted to local powers in 1985, and since then the sphere of influence remains untouched (therefore, only the provinces are eligible to authorize a gambling establishment).
The Criminal Code contains two sections that represent core appropriations that regulate the country’s gambling industry. Despite the fact that all the provinces take part in the national lottery program, the provincial or regional authorities are entitled to permit or prohibit the activity. Therefore, the senior officials of Alberta may ban the particular game of chance on the territory of the province, while the same activity can function in Ontario at the same time.
Online Slots Regulation In Alberta
The responsibility for supervising and regulating gambling businesses in Alberta lies on the local gaming and liquor commission (also known as AGLC). In its turn, the organization is comprised of two departments: the Corporation and the Board. The Corporation represents the functional mechanism of the system, while the Board carries the governmental policy into effect through the triggers under its control. The organization elaborates the strategic directions and policies as well as delivers the implementation in conjunction with the largest financial institutions of Canada. AGLC is empowered to ensure the compliance of local gambling businesses with the fundamental principles indicated in Criminal Code as well as the documents adopted by the organization itself.
In fact, the organization holds the power to license, regulate and monitor games of chance activities located in Alberta. The province occupies the second position in the list of the major Canadian gambling provinces, ceding the leadership role to Ontario. The organization is characterized by a relatively loyal (by the standards of Canada) attitude towards gambling activities and/or enterprises, looking forward to conduct their business in Alberta. Therefore, AGLC adopted a far-famed charitable license model that helps dozens of organizations to raise funds for a particular project.
Online Casino Canada: Responsible Gambling
The year of 2004 heralded the era of new attitude towards gambling organization and virtually all the stakeholders involved in gambling activities. A large cohort of non-profit establishments, gambling providers and regulators united their efforts towards transparent and responsible gambling in Canada within the framework of CPRG, or the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling.
Initially, the organization aimed at gathering comprehensive info on a broad variety of gambling aspects across Canada, and the result of the effort was the release of the gambling digest, now published annually. The digest includes statistical data on the state of affairs in each Canadian province: from overall revenues and quantitative characteristics on gambling businesses to revenue distribution and highly specialized data.
The digest itself represents a nicely crafted document with dozens of tables, charts and trends that characterize the development of the industry. The Gambling Digest is released publically, and available for download on the official CPRG website.
Casino Online And Brick & Mortar Establishments in Kahnawake
Kahnawake is a Mohawk Indian Reservation in Canada. Due to the special status granted to Indian lands, many of them legally allowed to host gambling, which provided a good supplement to the local budget. Kahnawake Gaming Commission, responsible for the regulation in this area, was established in 1996, and within as little as 3 years it began to issue licenses for this type of business on the Internet. Being the pioneer of gaming industry niche, the jurisdiction has become one of the most well-known among phenomena of the kind.
The Canadian KGC consists of three organizations assigned by Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. They are mandated to deal with all the regulation issues of online gambling, including licensing. A system of rules and standards that guides the commission is based on the experience of Australian colleagues. The basic principles of KGC are aimed at reduced to fair business conduction, transparency, data security and timely payouts.
The Commission has developed the requirements, ensuring high reliability and excluding the possibility of fraud in online gambling business. When considering an application the agency examines the following aspects:
- the formal grounds for issuing the license
- the reliability and integrity of software
- the capital adequacy for timely payouts
How Online Roulettes Appeared In Ontario
With an eye on the successful experience of Quebec, Ontario government raised the question of further legalization of online gambling in the province. Taking drastic measures was dictated by Toronto budget deficit of CA$24.7 billion.
Dalton McGuinty, the former Prime Minister of the province, proposed to fill the gap by raising taxes on the sale of alcohol. However, armed with a calculator and enlisted with the support of like-minded people, the Prime Minister gave the green light to local online gambling resources.
The neighboring Quebec earned about CA$50 million annually from online gambling enterprises, Ontario, the largest Canadian province, could count on even larger revenue.
‘Legalization of gambling sites will benefit the entire province. Ontario residents annually spend up to CA$1.9 billion on gambling online, though the funds go to other regions and offshore sites’, Paul Godfrey, head of the Committee on gambling in Ontario, commented on the situation.
Jeff Derevensky, the head of the International Centre that strives to limit gambling activities in Canada, indicated the young population was not ready for such global changes. However, the head of the center saw no particular obstacles to legalization: he offered to introduce a special course in local schools to protect the younger generation from the dangers of Internet gambling.