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Canada Set to Offer More Online Gambling Services

July 19, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Canada seems to be much more determined than its neighbor to the south to implement a system of regulation and taxed online gambling. Over the past few months, especially around the time of Canada’s GiGSE iGaming conference, online gambling laws were the talk of the Maple Leaf nation.

Now, those talks are back in the headlines, as a handful of Canadian provinces are ready to put new online gambling plans into action.

Earlier this month, Quebec formed an exploratory committee to look at the option of offering online gambling via the government. “We have authorized Loto-Québec to develop online games,” provincial Finance Minister Raymond Bachand was quoted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. “Loto-Québec is expected to launch its online gambling site in September,” the article added.

On Friday, British Columbia, home of Canada’s third-largest metro area, Vancouver, began offering casino-style Internet gambling via a new website from the government-owned B.C. Lottery Corp., PlayNow. com.  replaces the older B.C. Lottery Corp.’s website.

A total of 75 new games went online “in a first for North America,” writes Jonathan Fowlie at the Vancouver Sun. The move “will make the province the first in North America to legalize and regulate online casino games,” he adds.

The games include sports betting, bingo, lottery, and casino games (“to include blackjack, roulette and poker”).

“Today’s online expansion follows a move by the B.C. Lottery Corp. last August to dramatically increase the weekly limit for players on PlayNow. com, bringing the cap to $9,999 a week, up from the previous limit of $120 a week,” the article adds. Only “registered members whose ages and addresses have been verified” will be allowed to play.

All this stands in pretty stark opposition to what’s going on in the United States, where lawmakers at the state and federal level are having an impossible time agreeing on whether online gambling should be legally allowed. 

Okay, so, no good for affiliate marketers, right? You can’t promote these kinds of games. In that sense, it’s not a path that U.S.-based online gambling advocates would want to follow. But it is a sign that U.S. lawmakers may have increasing motivation to create new online gambling laws — especially as they start watching the money pour in north of the border.

Related news: An Ottawa businessman is ambitious about online gambling (per the Ottawa Citizen), and the Montreal Gazette speaks out against Internet gambling censorship.