Blog entry published on 1 March 2010

Has Ontario Seen the Online Gambling Light

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Author: Anton Johan

This morning I took a nice hot shower which I accompanied with - completely in tune by the way - the entire Canadian national anthem. Now its not that I'm the biggest patriot of Canada or anything. Heck, the only Canadian flag I own is on a fridge magnet I inherited years ago from an ex-girlfriend. No, the reason I 'woke up on the right side of Canada' this morning is that I learned recently about plans the Canadian province of Ontario has to ok a local online gambling platform.

Now as a proud resident of Toronto, Canada all my life and probably the most avid online gambling fan in the province, this is extremely good news for me, and I believe also for Ontario. Because if the plan goes ahead to allow Ontario's lottery corporation to offer online gambling facilities such as online casino, poker, bingo and betting services, this will mean that in a small way my online gambling will contribute to Ontario's coffers in the form of taxed online gambling revenues. Ontario will obviously reap the rewards of said taxes, as well as be able to monitor the habits of Ontario online gambling fans and be in a position to help prevent both underage and problem gambling.

Even Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty seems open to this plan. He was recently quoted as saying that online gambling is a reality and that the Ontario government cannot ignore it for much longer. 'The issue is whether or not we should be involved in that, and I think we're going to have to make a call. It's something we can't avoid,' he said. Meanwhile, newly appointed chairman of Ontario Lottery and Gaming, Paul Godfrey, also supports the province's move into online gambling. He was quoted as saying that he would like to see Ontario offer online gambling instead of watching revenues go to other Canadian online gambling-friendly provinces and offshore websites.

This announcement comes hot-on-the-heels of Loto-Quebec's forward-thinking online poker site set to be launched this fall. Quebec finance minister, Raymond Bachand, has even predicted that the province will generate approximately $50 million in dividends during the first three years alone.

 Posted by Anton Johan at 08:09 on 1 March 2010

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