Last month, the Canadian province of British Columbia launched, with great fanfare, the first legally-licensed online casino in Canada. The casino hit some serious glitches in its first few weeks, which its operators are still trying to sort out, but the event marks the beginning of what seems to be a new trend in the country. Just weeks ago, the government of Ontario announced its intentions to enter the world of online gambling, and more recently, Saskatchewan officials revealed that they, too, are exploring the possibility of regulating internet gambling.
Saskatchewan officials have not yet made any official promises, but have merely hinted that they have people exploring how internet gambling works in other jurisdictions, hoping to get ideas about how they too can license and regulate internet gambling in Canada.
Not surprisingly, opposition was voiced almost immediately after the announcement, with some arguing that research should instead focus on the social implications of legal online gambling.
Many Saskatchewan legislators, however, are choosing to focus on the financial side of things, with their eyes on the millions of dollars that playing at online casinos in Canada could potentially generate. While the costs of tackling internet gambling on a provincial level are great, pro-gambling legislators understand that the financial benefits would far outweigh those costs.
Meanwhile, Canada’s neighbor to the south also has wheels in motion, with US lawmakers working towards possible legal internet gambling. The nature of the competition between US and Canadian internet casinos can only be guessed at, but it seems certain that whichever country gets their foot in the door first will have an advantage over the other.