Different governments all over the world have taken unique approaches while dealing with online gambling. For instance, the UK was quick to legalize online betting and reap the full tax benefits.
Canada took a different approach altogether, it simply ignored online gambling. In Canada, the provinces are responsible for running and regulating any kind of gambling. The federal government has no clear idea regarding the private gambling operators.
This is potentially costing Canada a lot and, it would be better if they take the UK’s approach and legalize online gambling. Given that the country has progressive policies in other areas such as marijuana legalization, it may be difficult to understand why the government letting that money leave Canada.
According to 2017 data, Canadians gambled CA$17.3 billion annually. The amount is largely spent on lottery tickets, and a sizeable amount goes to online casinos. So why can Canada offer legal slots sites or casinos? Canada has unclear regulations laws, and Canadians gamble offshore when they want to play online casino games.
It is estimated that over $5.7 billion leaves Canada for offshore sites every year. That amount could have increased during the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions that made it impossible to visit a casino.
If Canada wants money to stay in Canada, it must follow the UK’s lead. First, they have to legalize and regulate online casino games and sports betting at the federal level. The laws and regulations must be made clear.
Two, Canada needs to establish a licensing regime. In the UK, the government generates billions from licensing. Offshore casinos do not accept UK players if they are not licensed. Third, Canada needs to set up an enforcement agency. The agency will ensure that Canadian are protected from signing up with offshore sites.
Legalizing gambling has numerous benefits, apart from the finances generation, players are directed to safe and regulated casinos that abide by the law. It is also possible to identify problem gamblers through national gambling organizations.