Globally, the gambling industry is thriving and each year, it continuously grows as casino gaming starts to be less taboo and more popular than ever. In Canada alone, the growth of the online casino sector alone has reached over 70 percent in the last two years.
This makes Canada one of the leading countries in terms of growth in gambling. This is even if Canada started with strict laws regarding the said activity. Today, it is estimated that around 25 percent of the country’s population is already taking part in gambling activities at an Online Casino For Canada and commercial casinos in the country.
Hundreds of online casinos are already accepting Canadian players. However, when it comes to the legality of online casino gaming, we could still say that it is in the grey area. What’s only certainty is that no private online casino should be based in Canada. This means that online casinos can still offer their services to the locals as long as they are based offshore.
However, under the First Nations Gaming Act of 1995, aboriginal tribes and communities in the countries can operate their gaming institutions. This law also allows them to offer their services online. Aside from the First Nations Law, the Provincial law is also in place to allow provinces or territories to decide on the legality of online gambling within their areas.
How the Pandemic Affected the Gambling Sector in the Country
It is also worth pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the growth of casino gaming in the country positively. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation in Atlantic Canada has increased betting allowances allowing weekly betting limits of up to $10,000 in all Atlantic provinces except Nova Scotia.
Meanwhile, New Brunswick also activated an online casino that allows players to bet up to $100 on a single spin on slot machine games. This is 40 times higher than the allowed limit on Video Lottery Terminals and slot machines.
Greg Weston who is a communication strategist from ALC confirmed that there is also been an increase in online gambling in the country since the start of the pandemic. This is because people who would gamble would avoid going to commercial casinos and are doing a lot of their transactions online.
The Risks Online Gambling Comes With
The growth of gambling in any other country also comes with risks and this is why legalizing any related activities isn’t that simple. Take for example the United Kingdom which has the biggest gambling market worldwide.
While UK’s economy has been benefiting from legal gambling activities, the government is also responsible for ensuring that these activities remain regulated. This is the existence of the UK Gambling Commission. This committee ensures that all gambling operators in the country adhere to the set rules and regulations concerning their services and even how they would advertise their services.
Responsible gambling should continuously be promoted as the gambling industry grows. There are a lot of stories out there that depict how dangerous gambling could be. A recovering gambling addict has shared his experience with Salt Wire about how his gambling habits became problematic.
Based on his story, he was once a professional with a significant net worth. However, it only took a few years of gambling for him to go broke and hit rock bottom that he almost committed suicide. He admitted to spending amounts of $500 to $2,000 in a single game on VLTs alone.
He talked about how he would go to bars daily to play these games. He would be quiet the whole time and it’s as if no one even noticed him being there. He said that if someone did, no one ever said anything.
This is just one story as according to Olive Moase who is a policy analyst at the PEI Department of Health and Wellness, not only the gamblers themselves are the ones who would suffer from gambling problems, but also family and friends too.
Bruce Dienes who is the chairman of Gambling Risk Informed Nova Scotia (GRINS) also reported that there is an increase of incident reports concerning domestic disputes caused by gambling. These incidents include partners who have to spend rent money on VLTs and seniors who have to spend their entire life savings in gambling activities.
Dienes said that the country seems to be giving its gambling problems little attention. He said, “The strategy of industry and government is to focus people’s attention on the individuals’ harms, and then blame them for their hurts by using terms like ‘problem gamblers’ — in effect blaming the victims – instead of focusing on the gambling problems that industry and government are creating.”