With most huge sporting competitions come huge amounts of betting. One of the largest sporting competitions in the world is the UEFA Champions League. Incorporating the top tier teams from all of Europe’s premier football divisions, the competitions runs annually and works much like any other league-based competition – facing off teams initially in groups and then in a series of knock out phases.
Running since the 1950’s the competition has a very long history of attracting lots of bets, given the fact that it incorporates teams from so many different nations. With a reputation for producing some of the biggest surprises in term of unexpected results, it is very little wonder indeed as to why so many people enjoy placing so many wagers on this competition each and every year.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the most heavily sponsored sporting events to take place in the world annually, with this seasons guarantors including the likes of Gazprom, Heineken, MasterCard, Nissan, PepsiCo and HTC. Such huge sponsorship deals are obviously reflective of huge viewership rates, and you would be correct in thinking that an astronomical number of people tune in to Champions League fixtures year in year out.
The 2013 final between the two Germany Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, which took place at London’s famous Wembley Stadium, is the most watched match of the competition so far. Raking in an estimated 360million television viewers, it is unknowable how many bets were placed!
Media coverage for the Champions League, in particular the latter-stage matches, is immense in size. Many media outlets scramble and contend for the rights to air the games in their countries – with many nations outside of Europe airing the games as well as those nations with teams participating.
When it comes to online gambling and wagering in North America, there seems to be a great difference of opinion and political attitude across various jurisdictions. In Canada, for example, some provinces have welcomed online casinos and have even gone as far as to apply regulation for the purpose of earning governmental revenue and profits. In Alberta and Quebec, however, the legality of online casinos is still being discussed.
The Situation in Alberta
Traditional gambling establishments such as the lottery and “brick-and-mortar” casinos are part of an industry that is showing solid growth in terms of revenue in Alberta. A recent report issued by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission explained that the revenues from casino taxation as well as from lottery and video slot machines totaled more than $1.2 billion after expenses.
With such promising revenue figures, politicians and provincial government officials in Alberta are now pondering whether the Gaming and Liquor Commission should begin to operate an online casino just like Ontario has been doing over the last few months. At this time, the Commission is looking into mental health and addiction issues related to online gambling before it decides to roll out an Internet casino.
Quebec Does Not Want Competition
Online gambling that is not operated by the government is not technically legal in the province of Quebec; however, enforcement is quite lax in this regard. Similar to the current situation in Alberta, Quebec is concerned by gambling addiction issues at this time, but in a different manner.
The Quebec government would like to block access to online gambling sites other than their very own Espacejeux; however, to do so would be criticized as a far-reaching move. To alleviate this issue, Quebec officials are looking into declaring online gambling a public health issue, thereby allowing them to go ahead with the blocking of foreign websites.
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