Mar 22

Taxes on Gambling Winnings from US CasinosAs tempting as a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City may seem for Canadians – especially after a long, cold winter – there’s one very god reason why Canada casinos are the best place to stay and play. Taxes!

In Canada, we aren’t subject to taxes on gambling winnings. In fact, the majority of first world countries consider winnings from gambling to be a windfall; categorized in the same manner as a monetary gift. Players keep every bit of their winnings, with no taxation applied.

The United States doesn’t see it that way. While the US government actually has one of the lowest state and federal tax rates in the world in terms of traditional income sources, taxes on gambling winnings are outrageous. Even if you’re a nonresident, you may be forced to give up nearly a third of your winnings to the nation’s prehensile government.

Taxes on Gambling Winnings from US Casinos

Not all gambling winnings are taxable. It depends on how much you win. A Canadian who walks away a few hundred dollars richer isn’t going to be subject to US tax withholding laws.

If you strike a slot machine or bingo jackpot of $1,200 or more, or get lucky at Keno to the tune of $1,500+, the situation changes drastically. Likewise, if you win a state or national lottery, wagering pool, or pari-mutuel pool (horses, dogs or jai alai) worth $5,000 or more, or at least 300 times the total stake, the US will want its cut.

When such winnings occur on US soil, Canadians can expect to fill out some forms when they visit the cashier. In addition, they’ll only be handed 70% of the overall winnings. The rest is withheld by the gambling facility to cover the mandated taxes on gambling winnings.

Keep Your Receipts! Form 1042-S

During the withholding process, the casino, racetrack or lottery facility will provide the player with Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s Us Source Income Subject to Withholding.

Make sure to keep any receipts, tickets or other documents that can prove how much money you lost while gambling in the US. If a Canadian is able to prove their losses, that amount can be deducted from any withheld taxes on gambling winnings.

Stick With Canada Casinos

If you’d rather avoid all this hassle, the easiest way to do it is to simply refrain from gambling in the US. Canada casinos offer the same variety of gambling amusements, and never collect taxes on gambling winnings.

If it’s the opulence of Las Vegas you seek, we have some pretty fancy casinos right here. The Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario is quite lovely, as is Quebec’s Casino de Montreal.

It’s also worth noting that Las Vegas – despite being the most famous gambling mecca in the world – has the absolute worst odds on slot machines. The rest of the world regulates that slots must have an RTP (return to player) averaging 87.5% (standard range of 85% to 92%. In Nevada, state regulators allow Las Vegas casinos to set deplorably low RTP’s of just 75%.

If Canada casinos and race tracks didn’t look very appealing to you before, hopefully the US government’s taxes on gambling winnings and lamentable slots payouts in Vegas will change your mind.

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Mar 17

Crazy Online BettingLinesOnline betting is a nothing new. Canadians have been doing it for the last two decades. Sports bets are by far the most popular, followed by things like politics and reality TV. But there are some very crazy online betting lines you probably never knew existed.

It seems every year, bookmakers come up with more and more wacky things to wager on. Now here we are in 2017 and there are some truly insane betting lines out there!

We’re Not Alone…

At some online betting sites, including the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power (who else?), you can actually place a bet on whether alien life will be discovered. In fact, it’s not a matter of ‘if‘, but rather ‘when‘.

Punters can wager on the discovery of aliens occurring in 2017, 2018, 2019, or “2020 or later”. To win this bet, Paddy Power specifies that the bet will be:

Settled on the sitting President of the USA making a statement confirming without doubt the existence of alternative, intelligent life beings from another planet.”

Bingo – How ‘Ferret’ Is!

Ferret Bingo – yes, it actually exists – is another one of the craziest online betting lines now available. Ferret Bingo is an English lottery/sport that involves placing ferrets into a cage with 7 numbered drain pipes as exit routes. Whichever exit the first ferret takes determines the winning number.

But is this lottery style game fair? In the past, conductors have been accused of ‘tunnel tampering’. However, it’s become a rather serious sport these days. Rules for the official matches that managed to make it onto bookmaker’s radars are strictly enforced.

On Your Marks, Cheese Set, Go!

If you thought Curling was a strange Olympic sport, how about Cheese Rolling? This racing event is exactly what the name suggests. Contestants roll large rounds of cheese down a hill, and the first across the finish line wins.

Could you imagine such a thing becoming an official sport of the Olympic games? Its strongest supporters can. An application was actually submitted to the International Olympic Committee, but not surprisingly, it was rejected. That doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy the action with some cheesy online betting lines.

Hoist Up The John B Wives!

Got a wife? Got a strong back? Hoist her up and get moving, because it’s time for the World Wife-Carrying Championship! Don’t have a wife? No problem, you can bet on the strong-arms that do at various internet bookmakers.

What started as a comedic way to pass some quality family time has become an international phenomenon. Established in the 1990’s, the WWCC is held in North America annually, while other countries like Australia and Asia hold their own regular wife-carrying competitions.

WWE Wrestling

We’ve all seen the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstars slamming each other head-first into the turnbuckles, suplexing them to the mat, and bashing metal chairs across their backs. Unless you’re under the age of 10, you know very well that it’s all fake – choreographed as seamlessly as a Broadway ballet. And that, my friend, is what makes this one of the craziest online betting lines in the world.

How can a bookmaker offer odds on something that is pre-determined? That’s not a contest, it’s a sham. But it’s also a very popular form of entertainment, and it’s become more and more common to find matches posted at online bookmakers.

In order to keep things fair, bookies offer lines that can be (are often are) immediately rescinded or heavily reduced if information regarding the upcoming winner gets leaked.

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Feb 02

Canadians look to Super Bowl LI Prop Bets

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Canadian sportsbooks are always finding something interesting to entice their punters with. This week, the sports betting world is turning its attention to Super Bowl LI prop bets, and there’s definitely some strange ones to place odds on as we prepare for the big game this weekend.

2017 Super Bowl Prop Bets

On Sunday, February 5, the world will look on as super-star quarterback Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots to into their ninth Super Bowl appearance – the seventh since Brady took the helm in 2000. Undoubtedly the best quarterback in Patriots history, he’s helped earn the team 4 Super Bowl rings, in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2015.

The Atlanta Falcons will have their work cut out for them this weekend. This year marks only their second appearance in a Super Bowl, with no Vince Lombardi Trophy yet adorning the team’s locker room. But the Falcons are on a hot streak as QB Matt Ryan and RB Devonta Freeman led the Falcons in scoring 540 points in the regular season; the 7th highest in NFL history.

2017 Super Bowl Prop Bets

It’s going to be a tough match-up, but most sports bettors aren’t focusing on who will win the game, so much as what will happen from start to finish. Super Bowl LI prop bets are the talk of Canadian sportsbooks, with some obvious – and some rather strange – odds on offer.

Deflategate

One of the most interesting I’ve seen yet is how many times will the word ‘Defalte‘ or ‘Deflategate‘ be used during the game’s live broadcast. Most sportsbooks have the Over/Under on this set at 1-1/2, and that’s a no-brainer in my book. It’s going to be awhile before Brady and the Pats overcome that scandal. I’ll take the Over, please.

National Anthem

Luke Bryan has been scheduled to sing the National Anthem, and there’s a wide range of prop bets available on his performance alone. What will he be wearing? Will he have a hat on? How long will the song last, and will he mess it up? There’s even odds on whether any players will be seen kneeling on the sidelines during his performance.

The Don

US President Donald Trump came up in a few Super Bowl LI prop bets, as well. Sports betting enthusiasts can wager on who the new US leader pick to win the game, as well as how many times the word ‘Trump‘ will be said during the game (excluding halftime and commercials). There’s even a prop bet for what will be larger – the number of yards Tom Brady rushes for, or the length of President Trump’s same-day interview with Bill O’Reilly (in televised minutes)?

Game Props

And of course, there are many 2017 Super Bowl prop bets actually associated with the game, like who will win the coin toss, who will kick first, score first, get the first TD and first field goal, etc. To the surprise of no one, odds are on Tom Brady to win the Super Bowl MVP, with Matt Ryan running a close second.

Super Bowl Prop Bet Promos

For Canadian sportsbook fans in BC and Manitoba, there’s even a special $1,000,000 Super Pool taking place at PlayNow.com. Members can pay $5 to set their picks on a range of 25 Super Bowl prop bets, and if they manage to tick the right box in every single one of them, they’ll be awarded the massive million dollar prize.

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Jan 06

Sports Betting: Popularity of Horse Racing in Canada

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For centuries – ever since man discovered it was possible to train these wild beasts – horse racing has been a favorite pastime worldwide. It’s not just fun for breeders and jockeys, but especially for live and online sports betting enthusiasts, who enjoy the expectant thrill of making some quick cash.

Online Sports Betting on Horse Racing

Horse racing isn’t just a big deal in Canada. It’s become an extremely popular form of sports betting all across the globe. According to statistics, it’s most prominent in the countries of Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

What is it that makes horse racing so incredibly popular throughout much of the modern world? There’s no single answer to that question. In fact, there are at least three very good reasons for it.

Speed, Speed and More Speed

Guys love speed. I’m sure a lot of ladies do, too, but anything that moves fast tends to draw the attention from the male population. Cars, planes, trains, horses – we guys loved to play with these things growing up. It only makes sense that we continue to be attracted to fast moving objects as we get older.

But it’s not just the speed of the horses themselves that gamblers enjoy. It’s the speed at which the races take place.

Sports betting on things like football, baseball, or basketball; it takes hours for the matches to conclude. A horse race generally lasts anywhere from 40 to 300 seconds. It’s a lot more exhilarating than spinning the slots reels or a roulette wheel, but doesn’t last so long that we become immune to the thrill.

Odds Increased in Strategic Sports Betting

If you’re betting for fun and the money doesn’t really matter, pick a pony and let it ride. If you’re really out to win, though, horse racing gives us the opportunity to increase our odds by doing a little research.

The breeding background and past performances of racing horses are very well documented. One can go online and find a wealth of information on all the ponies for a particular race, just as easily as they can log onto an online sports betting site to place their wagers.

Strategic betting is much easier in horse racing than it is in most other sports, where a game’s initial probabilities can easily be effected by things like injuries and turnovers.

More Bettors Means More Money

Because of the pari-mutuel engine, the more popular horse racing becomes, the more money bettors stand to win by wagering on it. Betting on a horse race isn’t like betting other sports. You’re not taking specific odds on a team or contestant. The amount you win depends entirely on how much money was wagered on the race overall, and how many people placed winning bets.

Thus, when a great deal of people bet on a race, the prize pool grows to enormous heights, ensuring a bigger payout to those who pick the right ponies. For this reason, its a good idea to place your wagers at the track, or at a popular online sports betting site where lots of wagers are going to come in.

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Nov 01

Canada Casinos Online and On LandGambling is nothing new to mankind. We’ve been doing it ever since our cavemen ancestors learned to throw rocks. In Canada, casinos – online and on land – have a rich history, and no doubt a bright future ahead.

Origins of Gambling in Canada

While it’s impossible to say just how long Canadians have been gambling, the earliest records point all the way back to 1485, when King Richard III outlawed dice games for fear his archers had become overly distracted from their duties, putting the safety of the country in jeopardy. That ban wasn’t lifted until March 15, 1999 by the government of Ottawa; 611 years later.

In 1497, John Cabot discovered Natives playing games of chance. He noted that these games weren’t just random gambling amusements, but had a deeper meaning for the tribes, encouraging physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.

78 Years of Prohibition

The first form of relative legislation came about centuries later, when a blanket ban on gambling was scripted into the Criminal Code of Canada in 1892. All gambling, in all forms and manners, was outlawed.

It wasn’t until 1970 that the legal landscape finally began to change. The country gave individual provinces the right to authorise and regulate certain forms of gambling, and it didn’t take long for them to build the first casinos in Canada.

New Era: Canada Casinos Online and On Land

In 1971, Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall officially opened as the country’s first casino (of legal standing, that is) in Dawson City, Yukon. Other provinces were slower to react, with Calgary, Alberta’s Cash Casino opening next in 1980.

From there, it was a virtual onslaught of Canadian casinos as more than 100 gambling facilities of all sizes and orientations were established. From British Columbia to Quebec, the last four decades have seen provincial lotteries, racetracks, casinos and sportsbooks launch across the nation, mostly as charitable entities that benefit government programs and local communities.

In the late 1990’s, we began to see online casinos in Canada. The digital gambling industry evolved quickly, and grew at a rapid pace in the True North, but mostly from international sources.

In 1999, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, based in Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, became the first to regulate Canada casinos online from within the country, but did so on sovereign land, and therefore under sovereign law.

The first provincially run sites were launched and regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC) and British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC). Both were established in 2004, but choose to restrict the games to online lotto only.

Then in 2010, the BCLC expanded its services on PlayNow to present the first true, Canadian-licenced, real money online casino. In the beginning, it offered games like blackjack, roulette and slot machines, expanding over the coming years to include poker, bingo, keno and sports betting.

Loto-Quebec launched EspaceJeux in December of that same year, followed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) launching PlayOLG in January, 2015.

Future of Live and Online Casinos in Canada

For now, provinces provide the only locally regulated Canada casinos online, and despite the claims of some, it is perfectly legal for residents to deposit and play at offshore, internationally licensed operations. That could change if provinces manage to pass some type of ring-fencing legislation, but Canadian law has consistently prevented them from doing so.

It’s also possible that provincial governments could seek to ally with offshore operators, generating revenue by providing licences to international sites and collecting applicable taxes. But that’s not likely to happen so long as governments continue to focus on ways to shore up their monopoly, rather than sharing in the wealth of a steadily growing global industry.

As for land-based casinos in Canada, revenue has been on the decline in most regions. Some blame the digital age and efficacy of mobile gaming. Others point to a flagging economy, reduced interest from millennials, or increased competition across the US border. These are certainly all contributing factors, but with a population of fun-loving, entertainment seeking Canucks, the brick-and-mortar gambling industry won’t be fading away anytime soon.

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Oct 31

Solution for Mobile Casino Apps pining for access to Social Marketing

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Since the invention of the smartphone, social media has become paramount to everyday life, giving us access to people, entertainment, a multi-player gaming environment and constant interaction. From an industrial point of view, social marketing is now the number one avenue for promoting businesses. But for real money casino apps, that path is largely blocked.

No Social Marketing for Mobile Casino AppsA study by Statista Research & Analysis released earlier this year indicated that social networking outlets like Facebook and Twitter would continue to attract an exponentially growing number of users over the coming years.

In 2010, the report showed 970 million people around the world accessing social media. That number doubled to 1.91 billion in 2014, rising further to 2.34 billion in 2016, with potential to reach 2.95 billion by 2020. Facebook remains the top dog in the social networking field, reporting a staggering 1.71 billion monthly active users.

IMG Statista Social Media Users

Industrial marketing teams, both for long established businesses and entrepreneurs, are well aware of the fact that social media is so vastly popular with their target audience.

According to a Hubspot report published in 2014, 92% of all marketing teams surveyed indicated that social media is vital to their business, and has helped increase exposure for their respective brands. 80% said they’ve experience increased traffic due to their social marketing efforts.

Mobile Casino Apps Left Wanting

Throughout it all, there’s one industry that’s been left out on the cold. In most regions, real money casino apps are blocked or banned from advertising via social media. Networks like Facebook and WebChat make a point not to encourage gambling on mobile casino apps, while China’s immensely popular Wiebo prohibits any form of wager-related advertising.

The reasoning is simple enough. Despite gambling being legal – once a person reaches a certain age, of course – there’s an overwhelming perception that its bad for you. It falls under the same reasoning that saw a prohibition against cigarette advertisements in the 1970’s, which had a lot to do with potentially promoting age-restricted activities to minors.

Copula Marketing Firm Has The Solution

One marketing firm believes its got a solution to the problem. Emmanuel Vivas, founder of digital market firm Copula.ph, told Stephanie Raquel of CalvinAyre.com that operators can avoid any legal ramifications by taking a more subtle, indirect approach to promoting their mobile casino apps on social media.

Vivas used online bookmakers as a prime example, explaining that they can open a social media page promoting a team or event series, rather than the actual betting service. It would provide a forum for discussion among fans, where operators could post textual advertisements, rather than direct social marketing ads.

He suggested that operators not “look into marketing directly to social media but more on gathering the people who are interested in like teams of sports”, particularly those whose interests lie with gambling on those sports. “In that way, we get a lot of people who are interested, and, at the right moment when these teams are playing, you can send a message to these fans, and they go to this place, and they can support them by making a bet.

“These are very legal and not connected to betting or wagering,” said Vivas.

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Oct 26

Quebec Online Casino Guide: Homegrown vs International Regulation

Blog, Canada, Casino Games, Event Gambling, Poker, Safe Casinos, Sports Betting, Sportsbook Comments Off on Quebec Online Casino Guide: Homegrown vs International Regulation

Quebec Online Casino ComparisonFor years, Quebecois have been taking advantage of internationally regulated online casino websites to place wagers over the internet. Then in late 2010, the province launched EspaceJeux.com, a Quebec online casino regulated by it’s own gaming authority, Loto-Quebec. Six years later, residents are still at odds to which operators they do business with.

The following is a comprehensive guide that details the advantages and inferiority between the two from a player’s perspective. We’ll also delve into the legal standpoint, and whether it’s relative to the argument at this time.

Benefits of Quebec Online Casino Regulation

The use of EspaceJeux provides advantages for both players and the provincial government.

By authorizing and regulating its own, homegrown online casino, Loto-Quebec is able to provide its citizens with peace of mind. Players are promised a safe, secure gaming experience where all financial transactions and information processing is protected by their own government.

EspaceJeux.com went live on December 1, 2010, providing customers with a variety of online poker games, as well as popular casino games like slots, blackjack, baccarat, roulette and more. In 2011, the online poker side of the business was conjoined with that of British Columbia’s PlayNow poker room, sharing liquidity among players.

As for government’s benefits, the Quebec online casino is also able to collect taxes, which puts money back into the province to help support local organizations, charities and community programs that benefit the region.

Taxation has long been the number one argument of government officials, who are reasonably irritated by the amount of money flowing into offshore accounts – money they have no jurisdiction to collect taxes on.

While there are no genuine statistics reporting how many Canadians gambling online with unregulated websites, it’s been identified that they contribute to an estimated $4 billion each year to offshore sports betting alone. That figure would rise substantially if internet casino, poker and other gambling forms were added to the equation.

Benefits of Internationally Regulated Casinos

You will find absolutely no benefits for the provincial government in this section, but the advantages for Quebec online casino players are many.

The promotional aspect is the most attractive for players. While Quebec limits the type and value of promotional offerings on EspaceJeux, international operators are not restricted, and therefore tend to provide much more frequent and valuable promotions to their players, including bonus offers, free spins, VIP perks and more.

Game variety is another asset enjoyed by players at offshore gambling websites. Quebec online casino regulators have only authorized a specific strain of gambling amusements, and even some of the most popular varieties are missing. For instance, you won’t find any Craps tables on EspaceJeux. The video poker selection is also quite limited, with only half a dozen options listed. For video poker fans, the ability to access 4x as many at offshore online casinos like Royal Vegas makes a pretty big difference.

The largest argument for internationally regulated gambling sites comes from sports betting enthusiasts. In Quebec, sports betting is only legal when wagers are placed as parlays, meaning punters must select 3+ winners, and all must win to receive a payout. Overseas sportsbooks offer a plethora of betting options, including single-event betting. And on top of that, they also provide those superior promotions noted above.

Even poker players are often drawn away from homegrown gaming options. Despite Quebec’s efforts to expand the player base by sharing liquidity with their neighbors in BC, that network only caters to a couple hundreds ring game players at peak hours – not nearly as attractive as some of the internationally regulated gambling websites that average thousands of players on the felt at any given time.

The trade-off for players is that Quebec can’t guarantee their security or financial safety with websites that aren’t provincially regulated. However, so long as the operator is reputable, and is supervised by a distinguished international regulatory body, it should provide its players with the same level of security.

iGaming From a Legal Perspective

There’s a common question circulating the province. Is it illegal for Quebecois to gambling at internationally regulated websites?

Unfortunately, the answer tends to vary, depending on who you ask.

Online gambling continues to fall into a grey area of the law. According to Quebec online casino regulators and many government officials, the answer is yes… sort of.

Some say it’s illegal for players to wager at offshore gaming websites. Others say it’s not illegal for the players, but that operators are violating the law by accepting players from Quebec. And then there are those who don’t hold government office, but do carry impressive law degrees – the experts, as we often call them – who say the Criminal Code of Canada does nothing to deem offshore online casinos illegal.

Technically speaking, the law only prohibits any operator with a physical presence on Canadian land, that isn’t regulated by a Canadian authority, from accepting Canadian wagers. That sentiment was confirmed by legal expert Michael Lipton, Q. C., a partner with the law firm Dickinson Wright, LLP, who specializes in ‘compliance, governance and due diligence requirements integral to the gaming industry’.

“There have been no recent prosecutions — none whatsoever,” said Lipton earlier this year. “There have only been two prosecutions ever in Canada in relation to Internet gaming and both involved servers located in Canada. One was in 2001, the other was in 2007.”

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Oct 20

UK Case to decide if Fifa Coins are used for Real Money Gambling

Blog, Devices, eSports, Event Gambling, Mac and PC, Payment Options, UK Comments Off on UK Case to decide if Fifa Coins are used for Real Money Gambling

Fifa Coins Used for Real Money GamblingSince the advent of virtual currencies, and more specifically, “virtual commodities”, a very fine line has been drawn between what does and does not constitute real money gambling online. The issue has been highlighted by a UK court trial in which two men have been accused of facilitating illegal gambling, including the advertisement of gambling services to minors.

The two Essex men in question are Craig Douglas (31) and Dylan Rigby (33), a pair of video bloggers who record and upload football game content on YouTube, and at the same time, advertised for the website www.futgalaxy.com; a website where access from UK customers was blocked earlier this year.

Both men were charged with advertising unlawful gambling. Additionally, Douglas was charged with inviting minors to gamble, while Rigby was charged with providing facilities for gambling without a license.

According to the UK Gambling Commission, all counts are direct violations of the Gambling Act of 2005.

Using Virtual Items for Real Money Gambling?

Real Money Gambling OnlineThe offences are related to the use of a virtual commodity known as Fifa Coins, which can be purchased or win in the Fifa computer game, and can be used on www.futgalaxy.com, and some other third-party sites, to place bets on virtual football matches and other eSports. The winnings can then be transferred back into the Fifa game.

After being charged in September, Douglas and Rigby pleaded not guilty on October 14. The hearing will begin on February 6, 2017, where the Birmingham Magistrates’ Court will whether or not Fifa coins constitute a virtual currency.

If that’s the case, computer game companies and websites that deal in these virtual currencies would be required by UK law to apply for a regulatory licence from the Gambling Commission, as their activities would fall under the guidelines of real money gambling.

Gambling Commission’s Mind Made Up

The Gambling Commission published a discussion paper in August in which a warning was emitted to operators of internet-based platforms that supply eSports betting where virtual commodities, obtained in game, are used to facilitate wagers. The Commission advised operators that they may require a gambling license to continue their services.

Trading of in-game items that can be bought, won, traded, sold or used were deemed “digital commodities” by the Commission, especially when those items can be “converted into money or money’s worth”. In cases where those items can be gambled with, the Commission defined them as “a form of virtual currency”.

Christopher Rees-Gay of Pinsent Masons, who specializes in gambling law and licensing, and is a prime legal consultant for Out-Law.com, gave his opinion on the matter.

“The crux of the issue is whether in-game items have a monetary value derived from the current market price and can be converted back into real-world money, and whether the court’s interpretation of the Gambling Act accords with that of the Gambling Commission on the matter of virtual currencies,” said Rees-Gay.

“The Commission in its recent discussion paper stated that ‘where ‘skins’ are traded or are tradable and can therefore act as a de facto virtual currency and facilities for gambling with those items are being offered‘ it considers that a gambling licence is required,” he explained, noting that facilitating gambling without a license “is an offence under section 33 of the Gambling Act 2005…”

Rees-Gay called this an “important case”, as it will clear up an existing “grey area” of the law for operators in terms of what does and does not constitute real money gambling where virtual items and currencies are concerned.

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Sep 05

Canadian Committee to Vote on Sports Betting Bill Sept 21

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Sports Betting in CanadaSports betting in Canada is a a limited wagering activity. Residents are legally restricted to placing parlay bets on three or more events, where each selection must be correct in order to win the bet. Or, they can take their wagers online and bet on sports all they like; albeit without the nation’s consent.

That could change in the near future if bill C-221 manages to work it’s way through all levels of the government. According to LegaLSportsReport, unnamed “sources in the legislature” confirmed the fate of the Canadian sports betting bill will be determined – at least in part – on Wednesday, September 21.

That’s the day the Committee on Justice and Human Rights will give the legislation it’s first real vote. The hearing to discuss the measure has already been set in stone, but the future of C-221 is as murky as ever.

Canada Sports Betting Bill

C-221 was introduced by MP Brian Masse in early 2016. The introductory text of the bill relates it’s legislative purpose:

This enactment repeals paragraph 207(4)‍(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race or fight or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”

In layman’s terms, Canadian punters would finally be able to place a wager on a single sporting event, such as a tennis game, CFL match-up, boxing bout or auto race.

Under current law, a CFL fan would have to select at least three teams to win; all of which must be picked correctly, or the bet is lost. These wagers, known as parlays, have very long odds, and no-doubt detract from the nation’s legal betting market.

Instead, the majority of sports betting in Canada is taking place illegally, via organized crime rings and/or offshore internet bookies. It’s been estimated by NDP officials, who support the passage of C-221, that the nation’s illegal sports gambling market is generating $14-$15 billion each year.

Pros, Cons and Other Arguments

Supporters of the legislation are attracted by the fact that legalizing and regulating single-event sports wagers would not only help to generate a lot more revenue by way of taxation, but it would also stand to decimate – if not entirely obliterate – the country’s illegal gambling market.

Those who’ve stated their opposition to C-221 argue that it won’t really do much to curb illicit gambling rings or stop punters from taking their sports betting online. They have also verbalized fears that a legal market would simply proliferate problem gambling in Canada.

Two Paths, One Big Decision

When the Committee meets later this month, there are two possible outcomes on the agenda. Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict which path will be taken.

On the one hand, the Committee could deliberate and decide to reject the sports betting bill. If that’s the case, MP Masse’s efforts will die in vein before the day is over.

On the other hand, if the Committee votes in favor of C-221, it will be referred to the House of Commons. Based on analytical data, the House should have enough viable support to get the measure approved and on to the next step, the Senate. Therein lies the biggest problem.

The Senate is brimming with anti-gambling advocates who have historically opposed any and all expansions of gaming. Despite the evident “economic advantages”, Liberal MP Bill Blair echoed the sentiments of other members who believe “the impact that this proposed change could have on individuals and families” isn’t a risk worth taking.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: ,

Aug 12

Petitioners Fail in attempt to Legalize Casinos and Marijuana Party in Nebraska

Casino Games, Event Gambling, Sports Betting, USA Comments Off on Petitioners Fail in attempt to Legalize Casinos and Marijuana Party in Nebraska

NebraskaThe state of Nebraska doesn’t look too kindly on gambling – at least not where there’s a significant element of chance involved. While it appeared that was about to change, thanks to a petition drive that raked in over 119,000 signatures from residents hoping to legalize casinos, it was confirmed Thursday that there weren’t enough “valid” signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

A similar petition that sought to establish the Marijuana Party of Nebraska, which would have recognized the group – which supports legal marijuana, the promotion of hemp farming, and a host of other ideals similar to the Green Party – as a valid Presidential party, also failed.

However, all hope is not lost yet for supporters of casino style gambling in the state. Officials are still counting and validating signatures on another statutory initiative that seeks to permit casino games at race tracks.

Secretary of State John Gale made the announcements on Thursday, verifying that the initiative to legalize casinos on the November ballot has failed. As for turning the state’s tracks into racinos, he said “We expect that process to take a few more weeks.”

Gale had originally requested that counting and validation of signatures on the ‘legalize casinos’ petition – a constitutional amendment – be finalized first.

Another petition with statutory intent is also pending, which deals with the taxation of gaming revenue.

Not Enough Verified Signatures to Legalize Casinos

Getting a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to decide whether or not to legalize casinos in Nebraska required a total of at least 117,188 signatures. Petitioners, who spent an estimated $1.4 billion on the campaign initiative as of July 26, were able to turn in 119,666 signatures. However, not nearly enough of them were verifiable.

According to Gale, 41,710 of the signatures were rejected for various reasons.

He confirmed that over 24,000 of them were denied because the signers were not registered in the county listed on their corresponding petition. Upwards of 4,600 signatures were determined to be duplicates, and another 3,000+ came from signers who were not registered to vote.

What Forms of Gambling are Legal / Illegal in Nebraska?

Forms of Legal and Illegal Gambling in NebraskaAccording to a Gambling FAQ on the Official Government Website of Nebraska, all forms of gambling were illegal up until 1934, when a constitutional amendment was passed to legalize parimutuel betting at horse races on enclosed tracks. Bingo was permitted, for charitable purposes, in 1958.

Then in 1967, another amendment provided regulation for “raffles, lotteries and gift enterprises for charitable and community betterment purposes.” Finally, in 1988, simulcasting of horse races was legalized for betting purposes.

Forms of illegal gambling include, well, just about everything else. Sports betting, slot machines, banked table games like blackjack and roulette, even Texas Hold’em poker tournaments are illegal, for the most part.

According to the laws of Nebraska, Chapter 28, Crimes and Punishments, poker tournaments are only legal when no monetary fee, or anything else of value (consideration), is charged for players to participate, AND no prize is awarded to the winner(s).

Games of skill, however – which specifically include (but may not be limited to) bowling, pool, and darts – can be played in tournament form, with a fee charged and prize awarded to the winner(s).

However if the game or contest is determined by chance, i.e., casino games, etc., then NO entry fee may be charged or no prizes may be awarded,” the government website states. It also stipulates that “non-participants can not wager on the outcome” either.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,