Canadian Turmoil Between Local and Offshore Gambling Companies

Published: October 6, 2013

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The Canadian authorities have been concerned about offshore operators offering online gambling services to locals. Competition within local operators is already fierce, and the effect of newcomers on the industry is starting to be felt with so much revenue leaving the country. The situation is affecting so much local business that locals are starting to file formal complaints to authorities.

Brent Scrimshaw, the chief executive officer of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, managed to bring this issue to the public's attention recently. He reported that an illegal offshore online gambling operator was advetising at the Canadian Football League game in Mocton, New Brunswick. The game was between the Montreal Alouettes and the Hamilton Tigercats on September 20th, the advertising involved the world famous company Bet365.

Bet365 is a solidly established companies with about seven million customers in two hundred countries, and they focus on online sports betting and poker. In his complaint Scrimshaw pointed out before the Crown corporations committee of the New Brunswick legislature that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation lost $64 million last year to offshore gambling sites. "The signs of one of those operators was painted on the field and displayed on the sidelines, and marketing teams worked the crowd," he said.

His claim also stated that these illegal sites are not delivering any profits to taxpayers. "So unlike Atlantic Lottery, these offshore, unregulated and illegal sites do not operate with responsible gaming as part of their DNA. They do not have a stake in the well-being of Atlantic Canadians." Even though this issue became very popular across the public, the CFL has declined to comment. The Hamilton Tigercats are listed as Bet365 partners, and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation offers very little in terms of online gambling.

The complaint was filed, but it did not manage to have the desired result. The Canadian Government told the Atlantic Lottery Corporation that even though this sort of issues affect the market, it is powerless to stop it because Bet365 is licensed and reglated by the UK Gambling Commission, Canadian laws that restrict gambling cannot affect it. It is definitely interesting to understand the economics of the online casino industry. What do you think about regulation of online gambling offshore operators? Should they be allowed to run in foreign jurisdiction? Let us hear your thoughts on the matter.


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