Thursday, March 06, 2008

Canadian Government Considers Ban On Online Gambling

I'm a Canadian. I am a proud Canadian for the most part, outside of the whole pandering to the Quebec'ers thing.

The USA is well known to have passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) tucked neatly inside a Port Security act. The conservatives there believe that they should make decisions for peoples actions in their own home. They can happily drive to an Indian casino and gamble their dollars, but just don't do it on the Internet. Yeah, makes sense. It just happens that a (very) few online casinos and quite a few poker sites have seen to not lay down to this law -- particularly the privately held sites. The poker sites contend that since poker is a strategy game -- and it is -- it should not be considered "gambling", and the operating casinos, well they just don't care. And so they go about their business and lobby for change.

Canada on the other hand stays out of the issue for the most part. The Canadian based Kahnawake tribe has a gaming commission of its own that regulates online sites, lots of Canadians gamble online and all is well with the world.

Now this is potentially changing. Lobbied by a horse track operators who are upset that online sites take wagers on everything - so people don't have to show up and bet through their window. They're pitching prohibiting banks and credit card companies from transferring money to online sites... they're EVEN pitching to have ISP's block access to these sites. Here are a few articles on the subject.

Now, let's review this. A group of horse racing track operators wants Canada to not allow its citizens to gamble online because it wants them to gamble inside its monopoly.

What other restrictions can we put in place so that people with controls over industries can avoid adapting?

Prohibit Peer To Peer File Sharing - It's only for piracy anyways, right? ... or let's just tax canadians yearly for music and movies regardless of whether they pirate and give it to the industry groups, they pay the artists... right?

Prohibit YouTube - there is not 20% canadian content on this, how will our Canadian film industry ever survive?

Prohibit Porn - How can we tell that every image and video that comes into the country is tasteful in the public interest? We can't monitor the whole Internet... ban it all.

Hmm, those ideas don't sound too good to me. It sounds like the government is trying to decide how we should live our lives to benefit the bottom line of a few corporations.

Speak up, my friends. I like my freedoms.


WolfGirl said...

We aren't living in China!!

In understand what they are trying to do, but COME ON PEOPLE! Stop wasting government money and focus on important things like global warming, anti-smoking laws and poverty within our own nation.

I sound like a hippy...don't I? :)

Toast said...

yes you are a f'in hippy.

actually the chinese gamble more than we do as a cultural thing, I understand.