Article published on 11 October 2013

Controversy Over Bet365 Advertising in Canada

Gaming Companies in Canada in Grey Area
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There has been much controversy recently in the Canadian gambling world. While online gambling is legal in Canada, there are some areas of online gambling law that are very clear, while others are not so clear, leaving a slightly grey area, which could be open to interpretation.

Incident between Atlantic Lottery and Bet365

Recently, there was an incident that took place, in which the Atlantic Lottery officials in the New Brunswick province reacted strongly against the online sportsbook, Bet365. Bet365 had placed advertisements that were advertising the sportsbook at a game played by teams in the Canadian Football League. The game took place between the Montreal Alouettes, and the Hamilton Tigercats. On the Bet365 website, the Tigercats are shown to be a partner of the betting company.

The reason for the outcry seems to be that Bet365 is offering real money betting services and is seen as competition for the Canadian online betting sites that pay Canadian taxes.

Bodog Advertises in British Columbia

On October 6th, fans who went to see the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, would clearly have seen advertising from a number of sponsors, including gaming advertisements such as B.C. Children's Hospital Dream Lottery, and, along with other advertising by various other companies, such as Vancouver Home + Design Show, Optik TV, Pepsi, and others.

While the Bodog advertisement is clearly one for a gambling entity, portraying a woman in a bathing suit who is lying on a green felt gaming table with poker chips, and a playing card. The slogan that comes with this advertisement is "We Are What Happens in Vegas." It is clear that the advertisement is for Bodog, although many say that the .net that is shown is almost unnoticeable to viewers. In Canada, the gaming site is a fun version of the site, where players can enjoy both online poker and online sports betting for play money. The company, however, is still seen as a somewhat grey area in British Columbia's law, and has been allowed to continue sponsoring sports events and advertising at sports events.

The controversy over the Bet365 advertising may well open up many discussions in Canada regarding what is considered to be legal online gambling and what is illegal online gambling. Bet365 does not market itself as a Canadian betting company, but rather as a UK betting company, where it holds its gaming license.

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