Quite literally ever since the advent of gambling taking place over the internet, the Canadian Government has dug in their heels regarding their right to operate these websites. Not so much in the “French” monopolistic fashion, but more by way of having properly regulated places to play for online gamblers. The Government of Ontario has brought this to fruition with a website but it has taken a good few years to get around to this. As they say – the wheels of Government tend to turn slowly, and they do not seem to understand the concept that money likes speed.
Online Casinos are in operation under the jurisdiction of both Quebec and British Columbia Governments. However it seems that gamers in these provinces prefer to use the big brand international names. More than likely the same thing will take place in Ontario, the reasons being that these online casinos have more players, and therefore more liquidity. This factor gives them the great advantage of being able to offer bigger better prize money, bonuses, and benefits.
On the flip side of the coin, the new Ontario gambling site offers slots, blackjack, baccarat, poker, and roulette just like any other casino, but they are more responsible regarding the gaming they offer. This government did try prohibition of other websites, but found that it did not work. So now they are in the playing-field and intend to ensure that no player gets themselves into trouble. Despite all the reassurances of “responsible gaming” practices within the private sector, players still get in too deep. Therefore playing at a Government operated online casino also has its benefits.
Benefits to the Government are to bring badly needed income into state coffers, and this is estimated at $375 million during the next five years. Thereafter income is expected to increase to $100 million annually. This Government is sitting on a $12.5-billion deficit, so substantial collections from online gambling operations may help to strengthen this position.
It is certain that Ontario has an entrenched interest in getting into this business, but after accusing others of “bleeding money out of the most vulnerable people”, the about-face is a bit odd. But when we are looking at big money like this, it is relatively easy to see why Ontario finally pulled the trigger and got their own site on the go. Whether or not they will be able to compete with a mature private sector industry remains to be seen.