May 15

RealMoey Gambling Firms Fear UKGC ReviewDid you ever receive a notice from the tax office that you’re being audited? If so, it probably made you very nervous. If the auditors come knocking, there’s usually cause to do so, and you’ll probably pay a nice hefty fee before it’s all over. That’s surely how the heads of real money gambling firm 888 are feeling right about now.

888 isn’t being audited, but there’s a very similar process going on at the moment. And based on past history, odds are the company will end up owing at least 6-figures to regulators in the Unite Kingdom before all is said and done.

A concise statement was released this morning in which 888 confirmed that its UK-based real money gambling operations are currently under the microscope of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The Commission is reviewing the services of 888 to ensure full compliance with regulatory laws, particularly in terms of social responsibility.

UKGC Social Responsibility Policies

Real money gambling firms licenced in the UK are required to maintain a voluntary self-exclusion program for all customers. These betting firms must take appropriate measures to prevent customers who’ve opted-in to the self-exclusion program from accessing their services.

They must also incorporate sufficient monitoring services to identify users who are wagering in excessive amounts, helping to identify potential problem gamblers and promote social responsibility.

Whether 888 has successfully done so or not is yet to be seen. However, the mere fact that the UKGC is investigating the matter indicates the company’s probable failure to do so, and it’s clearly had an impact on their stock market value.

Following confirmation of the UKGC’s review early this morning, shares in 888 plummeted 10% on the London Stock Exchange. The stock is trying to rally back, down -6.96% at time of writing.

LSE 888 May 15

Fines for Real Money Gambling Ops

What makes shareholders so nervous is the UKGC’s track record for investigating real money gambling licencees, and the fact that no operator yet has survived a review without being issued a fine.

Since the UK updated its licencing policies in late 2014, three companies have endured the Commission’s microscope – Paddy Power Betfair, Gala Coral Group and Betfred.

In February of 2016, Paddy Power Betfair was found to be in violation of the UKGC’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies. The company was fined £280,000 and ordered to update their systems to comply with regulations.

In April of 2016, Gala Coral Group was fined £846,000, also for breaching the UKGC’s anti-money laundering and social responsibility mandates. Gala’s settlement was much higher, because it equaled the amount one of their retail and online customers had stolen from a “vulnerable adult” to gamble with the company. Gala’s fine was used to compensate the victim.

In June of 2016, Betfred underwent a review, was found to be in violation of the same policies, and was punished with a similar fine of £800,000.

Confirmation Notice from 888

888’s confirmation of the UKGC’s review came as a brief statement promising the real money gambling licensee’s full cooperation with the investigation.

The company is dedicated to providing players with a responsible as well as enjoyable gaming experience and the licensee will be proactively engaged in a cooperative and collaborative manner with the UKGC throughout this review.

The company will make a further announcement as and when appropriate.”

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May 03

Canada Sports Betting LawsLas Vegas sports betting is big business – bigger than it’s ever been before. Yet in Canada, sports betting remains on the low end of the gambling revenue totem pole. The obvious reasoning is a lack of interest from punters, who have continually pleaded for a positive change in Canada sports betting laws.

The way wagers are placed on sports in Nevada, compared to Canada, is drastically different. In Las Vegas, sports betting is offered on any and all sports, with everything from straight-up bets and point spreads, to in-play betting and props. In Canada, parlays are the only option, and there aren’t too many punters who find those attractive.

Las Vegas Sports Betting Booming

From 2007 to 2009, sports betting across Nevada was a profitable venue, but held steady at an annual $2.3 billion in wagers throughout those years. Since 2010, the market has increased a phenomenal 63.2%, having risen to a record handle of $4.5 billion in 2016.

Bellagio Las Vega Sports Betting VenueLas Vegas sports betting is clearly booming, and there are several good reasons for it. The rise of mobile technology tops the list. It seems like everyone carries a smartphone these days, and people simply love to use them. The ability to place mobile sports bets at any given time is just one factor in Nevada’s exponential market growth.

Public media is also attributing to the fact. Commentators on ESPN’s Sports Center aren’t just talking about the games these days. They’re discussing point spreads and odds, as well as fantasy players and prop bets. The media has shined a spotlight on the sports betting scene, highlighted by a barrage of DFS advertisements in between, and it’s having a notable impact on how many Vegas tourists are visiting sports books along The Strip.

It’s also worth noting that Nevada is the only state in the US where sports betting is legal. A law passed in 1992 prevents all other states from offering sportsbooks in their casinos. However, federal legislators are currently examining that law, pondering whether to legalize sports betting in all 40 states where gambling is available.

Considering the fact that Las Vegas sports betting now makes up 2% of the Silver State’s overall gaming revenue, chances are the other 39 states will push for a change.

Canada Sports Betting Law Hinders Revenue

The question Canada sports betting fans would like answered is whether the booming market to the south will have any impact on the laws here at home. It’s no secret that provincial governments love to generate revenue from gambling products, but the current legal status is a bane to our market.

Canada sports betting laws restrict us to meager parlay bets. That means we have to select at least three teams/contestants to win, and if all 3+ don’t win, we lose our entire bet. The payouts are great, but the odds are just terrible. It’s not nearly as attractive as placing a skilfully chosen straight-up bet on a single team, or betting in-play on a live match.

With sports betting finally becoming a substantially profitable form of gambling for Nevada, and the US government considering national legalization, maybe – just maybe – the Canadian government will finally take a second look at its prohibitive sports betting laws and make the changes necessary to please the punting public – and fill their tax coffers with new and much needed tax dollars at the same time.

Until then, we Canadians will continue to visit offshore online sportsbooks – oh, how our government hates that! – to gain access to the (non-taxable) variety of wagers we really want.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

Apr 19

A group of Richmond gambling seniors have been told to take their games to a private residence, or face the penalty. No more 10-cent Texas Hold’em nights. No more $1 cribbage or bridge games. Gambling, no matter how cheap, is illegal in British Columbia, Canada, and they must abide by the law.

The message seems a bit harsh for a 40-strong group ranging in age from 75 to 95. These are senior members of society – our parents, grandparents, in some cases, great-grandparents. At one time, their lives were just as busy as today’s young and middle-age, working-class citizens, juggling employment and families.

These seniors are retired. Their families are busy. Grandchildren are in school. Truth be told, they don’t have a great deal of entertainment to look forward to. That was the argument of many members of the Richmond gambling group; particularly the Texas Hold’em players who’ve gathered three days a week at Minoru Place Senior Centre for the last decade.

Group of Richmond Gambling Seniors at Minoru Place

Game-Loving Seniors outside Minoru Place, photo Alan Campbell/Richmond News

70 year old Marilyn Berger, who joined the group five years ago, was livid when the centre’s management shut down their games.

“This group has been going in there for about 10 years, three times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, betting 10 flippin’ cents a chip!” Berger seethed.

She said the games last about three hours, and that it only cost her, on average, “$2 for a wonderful afternoon of fun and friendship. They’ve known fine well for years what we and all these other groups of seniors do and nobody ever said anything.”

Berger believes the legality issue arose from a “troublemaking” player who stormed off to the front desk during a game a few months back. That’s when she says the front desk managers started taking notice, despite the fact that they knew, and “didn’t care the ten years before then.”

Not long after, Berger says the group was handed a letter two months ago informing them their activities were illegal. They could continue playing, but could no longer do so for money.

Berger explained just how close the group is, and how important their camaraderie has become, holding “Christmas parties and a summer barbecue” each year. While they can still do these things, Berger asked the Richmond News, “What’s the point of playing poker when there’s no money involved?”

81 year old Charles McLaughlin, another member of the Richmond gambling groups’ regular Texas Hold’em games, agreed. He said their cheap gaming afternoons do way more for the members than move pocket change around.

“People come here to get out of the house,” he said. “By stopping this, they have virtually sent people back to their homes to hibernate.”

Harry Walters, 88, isn’t just a fan of the group’s poker games. He’s also a retired Vancouver police officer and former gaming inspector for BC. After looking into Richmond gambling laws, he claims there’s nothing illegal about their activities.

“The only time it becomes illegal is when the house, for example, makes some money out of the game,” said Walters.

While that’s true, in part, there’s also the issue of conducting the games in a public forum, such as a senior citizens centre. They could easily take their games to a private residence – as some already have – but the group says it’s unquestionably less convenient, and not nearly as much fun.

Kathleen Holmes, President of Minoru Place, said they’re looking into a way to circumvent legal issues. Instead of playing for money directly, they might be able to play for points, with a monetary prize going to the winner at the end.

“We’re looking into that right now,” she said.

Ted Townsend, a spokesman for the City of Richmond, said they’re not trying to stop the senior groups from having fun, “but it can’t be for money.” He supports the center offering a range of life-enhancing activities for seniors, but at the same time, added, “we have a responsibility to abide by the law.”

For now, the Richmond gambling group is forced to take their gaming elsewhere.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,

Apr 17

Single-Game Sports Betting in OntarioOntario isn’t what you would call the most modernized gambling-centric community; certainly not when it comes to online casino gaming. That title belongs to British Columbia, where the BCLC launched Canada’s first home-regulated, internet-based gambling website, Playnow.com, in 2004. Quebec came next in 2010, with Ontario waiting until January 2015 to officially launch PlayOLG.com.

While we can’t say Ontario was on top of the game, we can commend provincial leaders for their cautious nature. Observing the efficacy of online gambling regulation in other regions, and developing models that mimic the good, while avoiding the bad, is worth a little praise.

The region’s historic attitude may soon flip-flop though, with reports that single-game sports betting could actually become a reality in Ontario; something no Canadian province offers at this time due to existing laws. For the moment, disappointing parlays are the only legal form of sports betting across the nation.

According to Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, if and when Canada does legalize single-game sports betting, his forward-thinking company is already prepared to roll out the software required to deliver in-house and online sports betting wagers on single events.

Lawson’s company has been in talks with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) recently. Following a recent partnership, both are showing interest in the potential for Woodbine to present online horse race betting via the OLG’s online gambling website.

Ontario Online Horse Race Betting

Woodbine Single-Game Sports Betting Tech ReadyAccording to reports, Lawson is ‘cautiously optimistic‘ about integrating horse race betting on PlayOLG. He believes bringing the pari-mutuel betting market to online punters would be a great boost for the sport, bringing in more revenue and reinvigorating the excitement that once revolved around horse racing.

He also noted that, should the partnership be successful, he has high hopes for the future of single-game sports betting in Ontario. Lawson intends to continue the push for iGaming expansion via legislation to remove restrictions on sports betting.

Single-Game Sports Betting Platform Ready

The bulk of that argument could come from the fact that Woodbine Entertainment already has the necessary technology developed to integrate single-game sports betting, via its HPI Betting System.

Lawson, who also happens to be the Chairman of the Canadian Football League, said it would be “a real game-changer” if provided the opportunity. “You don’t have to just project it, you can see the impact in other countries in the world,” expressed Lawson in a recent interview with the Toronto Sun.

“We could run single-game sports betting off the backbone of that,” he said. “Our tote systems, our whole information technology systems are sophisticated enough to do that.

“We’re hoping and thinking that there is a role for single-game sports betting and the importance to horse racing is we be part of it rather than be cannibalized,” he said.

The CEO added that Woodbine has “been engaged in a number of conversations,” with OLG, and has been proactive in delivering the message that its software is fully capable of providing a single-game sports betting platform.

“We’d like racing to even be a part of a pro-line type bet today where the parlay betting is allowed. Is it imminent?” he questioned. To that, he could only say, “I’m not sure.”

Woodbine – and the Canadian horse racing industry as a whole – has struggled in recent years. Attendance is down, revenue is down, and that means less yield for tracks and provincial governments alike.

“I really think it’s the type of thing we need to do to create revenue for horse racing and there is a real push on to integrate our gaming with what the gaming authority is doing,” said Lawson.

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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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