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Prohibition Bill Emerges in Canada

1 March 2006

Jeff Leal, a Liberal member of the provincial parliament in Ontario, has introduced a bill that would ban the advertising of Internet gambling sites within the province. It appears that his main concern is curtailing lagging sales among state-run gambling operations.

The legislation, Bill 60, received its first reading on Feb. 15. It proposes to amend Ontario's Consumer Protection Act of 2002 by prohibiting the advertising of Web addresses of Internet gaming businesses unless the businesses are is authorized to operate in accordance with Ontario and Canadian law.

The relevant section of the bill states:

No person shall print, publish, distribute, broadcast or telecast an advertisement or representation that includes an Internet gaming business website address unless the person believes in good faith that the Internet gaming business has been licensed or otherwise granted permission to operate in Ontario or Canada by the appropriate authority and is operated in accordance with the applicable laws of Ontario and Canada.

The policy's effectiveness would be limited in that only the display of a "Web site address" would be specifically banned. It would appear, then, that an ad that does not display a URL may not be illegal.

How the terms "print, publish, distribute, broadcast or telecast" would apply to media Web sites based inside or outside of Ontario also remains to be seen.

Leal's is a private member's bill and would therefore require three readings before the legislature as well as royal assent before becoming law.

Earlier this week Ontario Public Infrastructure Minister David Caplan made statements to the press claiming that competition from Internet gambling operations is harming the performance of Ontario's traditional gambling establishments. "It is a real factor in the Ontario gaming scene," Caplan said.

According to Ontario-based newspaper London Free Press, Caplan stopped short of calling Internet gambling illegal, although he did note that certain Criminal Code provisions relate to it.

Internet gambling isn't the only factor diminishing the Ontario gaming industry's sales, however. Since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been slowdowns at the Canadian-U.S. border and an increase in American casinos near the border. "Many of these border areas are very concerned about layoffs in the gaming sector," MPP Tim Hudak said. "People are jut not coming across the border like they used to."

Ontario's gambling industry grew a little larger this week with the unveiling of a new 75,000 square foot gambling area with 200-slot machines and a bar and lounge to complement the already existing racetrack at Ajax Downs a few miles east of Toronto. Last month the province saw the opening of its fourth of five pilot bingo sites as part of a bingo revitalization process.

Prohibition Bill Emerges in Canada is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com