Friday is Canada Day, and we’re celebrating with an update on online gambling business and regulations in the land of the maple leaf.
Canadian Poker Tour comes to Vegas
Calgary-based HeadsUp Entertainment, owner of the Canadian Poker Tour (CPT), Canadian Poker Player magazine and the Canadian Poker Player TV network, is expanding into the U.S. market.
The company recently announced a partnership with World Poker Showdown, described as “positioning itself for the impending legalization of online poker in the U.S. and we have been developing relationships with land-based casinos throughout North America for this scenario,” HeadsUp CEO Kelly B. Kellner said in a news release.
On top of that, Canada Day will see a special CPT event held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Read about the Canada Day Mega Stack Poker Showdown.
Canadian regulatory updates
Speaking of the U.S. … Canada’s online gambling environment isn’t really all that much different. Although British Columbia offers a state-run online gambling system, and Quebec is about to do the same, many other major online gambling brands promoted by affiliates are also available in Canada.
The situation isn’t that different from the U.S. pre-UIGEA. The Vancouver Sun’s David Baines writes that they’re “two countries plagued by the same problem”. But Baines is a harsh critic of online gambling, frequently taking shots at the industry and even instigating a pseudo-feud with Bodog’s Calvin Ayre (also Canadian).
Officials in Ontario, Canada’s most populated province, are considering regulating online gaming too, at least in part because “the province doesn’t like missing out on gambling revenue departing Ontario through cyberspace rather than dropping into the slots in Windsor or Niagara Falls,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
The Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations wants to get in the licensed internet gambling business, too.
“Gaming is an industry that you totally have to be on top of at every opportunity and refresh games wherever necessary,” said Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for gaming. “We’ve got the whole idea of on-line gaming. We know that’s increasing and taking some market share. We’re going to have to look at that even closer.”
Not all provinces are so enthusiastic. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador have opposed online gambling, and the CBC reports that Alberta has done the same.