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.