Ontario Legalizes Online Gambling
In a newsbit that I hope and pray that I’m able to write about the United States one day, Ontario has decided to legalize and regulate online gambling.
This is a huge deal for Canada, and it should prove to be very successful. It’s often cold there, so many people won’t want to leave their houses. The ability to play online from the comfort of their home will be greatly appreciated by the residents of Ontario. Ontario is home to 13.6 million residents, so online gambling should generate a huge amount of revenue, especially once no deposit bonuses are factored in.
However, the naysayers are out in full force, and their worries and fears sound all too familiar.
The site, which launched this past Thursday, is predicted to be both a success and a failure. Robert Murray, manager of education and community resources at the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, explains.
“This is another opportunity to expand their (government) revenue from gambling.. certainly for a segment of the population, the convenience of gambling remotely is going to be attractive, especially since it is government sponsored.
However, that means there are going to be more people who are going to want to try this.. and inevitably, you are going to see a proportion of those people get into trouble with it.”
That’s right. Despite decade-long studies that show the availability of online gambling doesn’t cause problem gambling, officials in Ontario are sticking with the same tired excuse.
OLG spokesperson Ryan Bissonnette counters Robert Murray’s statemnets, stating “I’d say the key element here, it’s responsible, it’s safe, people are protected, they have their privacy, and it’s regulated by the government of Ontario. And most of all, we have those responsible gambling features embedded in the site.”
Those features that he refers to, of course, are the age and location gates set up to prevent anyone outside of the area from gambling on the site.
NDP finance critic MPP Katherine Fife pointed the finger directly at the Ontario government, stating that they’re the ones that are addicted to gambling.
“Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal government’s casino-style gaming strategy isn’t progressive and will put people at risk. New Democrats are very concerned that the OLG’s new gambling site will encourage youth gambling, prey on the vulnerable, and encourage gambling addiction.”
Regardless of whether those in a position of power are in support of online gambling or not, the fact remains: online gambling is now officially legal in Ontario, and players may begin playing. Once the figures are published, perhaps online gambling can spread to other areas of Canada. Now more than ever, the eyes of the world are on any new region that legalizes online gambling.