Quebec Ready to Enforce Online Gambling Blacklist
Authorities in the Canadian province of Quebec are getting ready to enforce a blacklist of over 2,000 unregulated online gambling sites. It’s a controversial move that’s aimed at shoring up Loto-Québec, the provincial lottery, but it’s not without controversy.
Loto-Quebec officials have made no secret about what’s motivating their desire to block access to the illegal sites; it’s money.
According to a report on FlushDraw.net, the official view on the matter is that just 10% of Quebec’s market for online gambling is done via regulated means. In their eyes, that means that Loto-Quebec is missing out on 90% of its revenue potential.
While there has been some talk of offering licenses to online operators including Amaya Gaming, which is based in Quebec, so far nothing concrete has happened.
The ban itself is set to be enforced by the country’s ISP’s, which are slated to receive the blacklist within 30 days. ISP’s that fail to comply with the ban could be fined up to $100,000 per violation.
While the government of Quebec seems happy with the plan, there’s still some debate as to whether or not Loto-Québec even has the authority to enforce such a list.
Some critics have already pointed out that the ban could be a violation of Canadian censorship laws. Given that, it’s safe to assume that some sort of legal challenge will emerge.
Of course Quebec could enforce its blacklist and still wind up dealing with just as many unregulated online gambling sites as it’s dealing with today. That’s been the experience in European countries that have tried blocking online gambling sites.
Online gambling operators, at least the ones that knowingly serve illegal markets, are extremely adept at shifting domains and staying one step ahead of regulators. That’s a problem the government of Quebec might have a tough time fighting.