Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ontario Set to Bet on Legalized Online Gambling

August 7, 2010: summarized from Toronto Star -- Ontario is poised to roll the dice on Internet gambling as British Columbia, the United States and other jurisdictions clear the decks for legalized online gaming.

“At this point it’s something we can’t ignore,” a government official told the Star Friday. “It’s something that we’re exploring.”

While it’s not clear how soon Ontarians could be playing Texas Hold ‘Em poker, roulette or baccarat on their computer keyboards through a provincially run website, the government is clearly warming to the idea. Some experts estimate online gambling is growing at a rate of 20 per cent annually.

The policy signal comes just months after Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation chairman Paul Godfrey, on his first day on the job in February, said it’s time the province took a look at online gambling.

“Money is going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites,” warned Godfrey, who was brought in by Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government to put the scandal-plagued lottery corporation on a solid footing.

At the time, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said it was too early to say whether Internet gambling was in the cards for Ontario – which is fighting a $19.7-billion deficit this year as the Liberal government approaches a re-election fight in October 2011.

But the tide on Internet gambling appears to be turning around the world, with governments softening their views on outright bans in favour of regulating and profiting from gambling that is already taking place under their noses.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/csVXL9

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