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Many Offshore Online Gambling Companies Continue to Operate in Canada

By: Russell Potvin

Tues. Jan. 12, 2016

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The nature of the online gambling laws in Canada and the fact that there are a number of things that are not made explicitly illegal can create a confusing atmosphere for a lot of players who worry about the future of the industry and their ability to place bets online. A number of big companies have pulled out of the country fairly recently, and that adds even more doubt to contend with. Even with that, you can rest assured that your gambling experience isn't going anywhere, at least in the recent future. Here's why.

A lot of people have been really concerned over companies like Skrill, Matchbook, Bet Fred and most recently Ladbrokes pulling out of Canada. If you look at the specific reasons why these companies have pulled out, however, you'll see that it doesn't actually have much to do with Canadian law. In the case of Ladbrokes, for example, they pulled out because they do not have a very large Canadian player base at all, and they are facing difficult tax decisions in the United Kingdom with their new regulations. In short, it's basically cheaper for them to pull out than to deal with the tax headaches of the new regulations by continuing to serve the country.

For the most part, the federal government leaves online gambling to the provinces which are allowed to run their own games and online gambling sites. At some point in the future, they may decide to ban unlicensed, foreign operators to try to cut down on the competition that these government-backed games have to contend with. For now, however, they are content to let these games go on as long as there's no real advertising going on. This is why you've seen things happen like Bet365 stop sponsoring CFL events and why PokerStars removed its sponsorship in Montreal.

The biggest change you've probably noticed from this is that the .net approach to advertising gambling sites has stopped showing up almost completely. The reason for this is that these foreign sites have an unwritten agreement with the federal government, at least as far as all practical usage goes, that if they do not advertise that the government won't force them out of the market. While we aren't quite sure how long this agreement is going to last in terms of years, it's pretty certain that it's going to continue to be like this for a while. The province-ran games are doing really well and bringing in a lot of revenues, so there's no real need to cut out all competition at any time in the near future.