May 12, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Online Gambling has become a hot topic in Canada, and not just because of Manitoba’s pending bill that could regulate the industry and put it in the hands of the government. The buzz recently engulfed the Canadian Gaming Summit, where it became the leading angle fo the event in media reports.
But journalists and politicians aside, what do Canadians themselves think of the idea of fully legalizing online gambling — and then giving it over to full governmental control, in the process perhaps limiting the amount of iGaming brands available to players (and online gambling affiliate marketing entrepreneurs working in the Canadian market, as well)?
On Friday, the Winnipeg Free Press published a collection of input it had received from Canadian citizens on this issue. The following are some highlights:
“There are thousands of people in Manitoba who play casino games online,” writes “Young Manitoban”. “I have played on numerous sites in the past and I would rather have the profits going to my government and then distributed for public services than to some offshore account. The action of gaming online is not illegal, so why shouldn’t the profits generated go back into the province — just like a casino.”
“Why would anyone be opposed to this?” agrees “cptkirk” (hey, Canadians are well-known for being Star Trek fans). “These gamblers are going to gamble no matter what. It benefits both parties for the government to get their hands into the pot. Why? Because the gamblers have a safe and legal place to gamble, where they know that the odds are regulated. The government can make more money from the revenues, which they can in turn pump back into counseling for the few people that go overboard.”
“The government should govern, not be involved in such activities. Regulate it but do not participate in it,” states “dyachison”, echoing an American sentiment.
“The thing is that there are already many poker sites. If the people don’t go to the Manitoba sites, they will just go to another site,” adds “the real bob”. “This in no way will feed addiction. Either the proceeds go to Manitoba or to partypoker.com.”
Of course, not all of the comments approve of legalized gambling. But all the same, the result is a reasonable and thought-provoking discussion on the issue of online gambling provided by the very people most affected by the new laws. There could be a lesson in here for the Canadian government’s American counterparts (as well as the media, who tend to focus only on the politicians in their coverage).