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Gambling Laws Push More Online Operators Out Of Canada

By: Russell Potvin , Wed. Jul. 30, 2014

Online Gambling Operator Leaves Canada

Canadian law limits online gambling activity to only sites which are approved, owned, and operated by government organizations which forces out outside entities providing services to Canadian citizens.

While the online gambling market grows continually around the globe and some countries look to make their participation in the movement more inclusive and competitive for the good of both businesses and the customers, Canadian laws make for a more insular experience with only government run sites being allowed. This has not completely stopped the flow of gamblers in the country from seeking outside sources for their entertainment but has begun to push out well known and reputable businesses from their operations within Canada. Part of the argument made against outside operations by the Conservatives is the limitation of illegal money laundering operations and transfers by criminals and criminal organizations within Canada.

While there are upsides to there being internal monopolies, such as increased revenue and tax streams to bolster the economy of the country from the inside, as seen in other countries which have this structure in place, it does limit the freedom to choose where to spend those entertainment dollars. There has been a consistent effort by some in Canada's parliament to change over Provincial rules to allow single game bets instead of the standard minimum of a three game parlay but this has hit roadblocks when pushed in the Canadian Senate. Additionally, organizations such as the NBA and NHL have been fighting against this proposed change to keep the integrity of the games in place.

So far, citizens have seen the cessation of payment processing by the globally operated Skrill in January due to uncertainties as to whether their business operations in Canada would see them punished by these laws. Their move to withdraw came on the heels of an operational review which they felt was too 'ill defined' to remain in the country. Just one month prior to that, InterPoker removed itself from the Canadian market, taking with it a good business which did well with Canadian players. The UK based bookkeeper, Betfred, has withdrawn from the Canadian market as well, citing, "regulatory and general licensing processes."

On August 22, 2014, players who use TripleBet Ltd.'s Matchbook will find that their current balances are being returned to their payment source as the company also removes itself from the Canadian gambling landscape. This sportsbook operator was also the subject of an operational review and, while not disclosing the contents, has clearly found the result to be less than favourable to the future of their business. Only time will tell whether Canada becomes a country which hosts only government monopolized gambling operations online or if a change in the alignment of the federal and provincial governments will sway this the other way to allow more competition.