Around the world, online gambling is a popular pastime. It is estimated that 1.6 billion people approx gamble each year. Gambling activity is split between land-based casinos and online. Each country has the right to ban or allow gambling in all forms. Currently, there are 56 countries which have banned some form of gambling. Canada sits somewhere in the middle due to lack of clear legal status.
Situation in Canada
Up until around 40 years ago, gambling was heavily linked to organized crime. In order to stop criminal activity, the federal government stepped in. Slowly, the government began to police gambling by issuing licenses for Canadian land-based casinos. Overtime gambling became safer with less criminal activity.
As gambling became more regulated, the Canadian government handed control to the local governments. After that provincial governments started to issue their own licenses. Some provinces chose to prohibit gambling. Others like Ontario and Quebec were happy to allow gambling. When it came to online casinos many provinces were happy to issue licenses. So-called ‘state-backed enterprises’ like Loto-Quebec and the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation). Overall, government supported enterprises have worked out well. In some places not so much, like in Quebec. Here, Loto-Quebec has been accused of trying to run a monopoly. A court case was brought against Loto-Quebec as they tried to stop other online casinos operating.