The online gambling industry has been thriving in many countries around the world, including Canada. Once there was a stigma attached to gambling, but ever since online gambling platforms arrived, it became just another form of online gaming, free from stigmas. In Canada, the popularity of online gambling has boosted the economy, with the Canadian Gaming Association estimating that the gambling industry generates over C$15 billion annually. The liberal online gambling environment has led to the popularity in Canada. But there will always be some kind of trouble, and in this case, it was the news of a potential crackdown.
For some time, it seemed like Canadians wouldn't be able to enjoy the liberal online gambling environment anymore when a new bill was proposed to restrict foreign gambling operators in the country. Called Quebec’s Bill 74, the bill had tried to prevent foreign gambling operators from reaping the benefits of the revenue online gambling generate in the country. In addition, the bill also wanted to get local ISPs to block foreign online casino sites and prevent Canadians from being able to spend their money outside of Canada.
The intentions of Bill 74 weren't too favorable, and could have caused long-lasting problems for the whole gambling industry in the country. The biggest losers would be the consumers. With over 2,000 gambling websites on the ‘block’ list, the choice would become severely limited for gamblers. In such a case, there would have been an increase in monopolies or duopolies, and the risk of illegal and illicit gambling practices. None of these would benefit anybody.
Besides, if Bill 74 was passed by Canada’s Supreme Court, many other provinces would also follow suit and a national crackdown would have severely limited the choice for consumers. But fortunately, in a recent ruling the bill has been rejected even before being implemented, so online gamblers and gambling operators can now breathe free.
By proposing the bill, it was hoped that it would help local and provincial casinos benefit more from the revenue generated from online gambling. There was also talk of one of the leading online casinos in Quebec, EspaceJeux, partnering with international casinos.
The Supreme Court rejected the bill because it was unconstitutional and infringed upon federal jurisdiction. The recent court ruling rejected all the ideas proposed in the bill, in a move much appreciated by those who had opposed the bill, including the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.
This court ruling is a big win for freedom of speech and freedom of the internet in Canada, aside from being a big victory for online gamblers. Most online gamblers believe this was the right decision by the court, and hope that this keeps the liberal online gaming policy nationwide intact.