Canada online casinos look on as New Jersey lashes the metaphorical whip at internet gambling companies eyeing Australia.
The Canadian online gambling market is a feudal one. Unlike most jurisdictions around the world, they’ve failed to fully address the regulation of internet-based gambling activities. Yes, several provinces have enacted their own, government-run iGaming websites. But they have yet resolve the issue of offshore operators accessing Canada’s players.
As a nation, Canada doesn’t seem too concerned with the matter. The individual provinces filling their coffers with the revenue generated by online gambling are much more perturbed by international competition. Yet, to date, they’ve done little more than swat at them like flies.
Far across the ocean in Australia, legislators finally took action on a similar problem. After several years of debating the issue, and which side of the proverbial mountain’s peak it would be best to roll down – legalize online casino and poker, or enforce penalties against unlicensed operators accepting Aussies – the nation has effectively bridged the divide.
In September, Australia formally enacted legislation to require any operator, regardless of location, to acquire an Australian online gaming license before accepting Aussie players. Licensees are obligated to comply with local laws, meaning online sports betting is the only legal iGaming option. Online casino and poker games are officially off limits.
For the most part, it’s been effective, although you’ll always have some black-market operators flaunting the law. To help curb that issue, Australia turned to another jurisdiction that’s been highly successful in upholding regulatory guidelines – New Jersey.
NJ Warns Operators to Back Off Australia
It’s a bit odd that an entire nation would seek the help of a relatively small state like New Jersey. Even more strange is New Jersey’s willingness to heed the call to action. The state’s regulatory body, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), not only acquiesced, it then sent a clear message to all of its operators to steer clear of Australia, or else.
The DGE has been very strict in its regulation of iGaming licensees. They must have a physical presence in the state to obtain a license, and may not violate the laws of any other jurisdiction by accepting players from black-market, or even gray-market, regions, where the laws are unclear.
DGE Director David Rebuck responded to Australia’s plea by issuing a stern warning to NJ operators:
|“…every online gambling company that conducts business in New Jersey must comply with Australia’s new laws and cease offering all prohibited services to customers in Australia. Failure to do so many result in the Division taking regulatory action against your company, including finding your company unsuitable for licensure in New Jersey.”|
Not only would they be risking forfeiture of their license to operate in New Jersey, any company that accepts Australian players beyond this point could be found unsuitable for licensure in other US states where online gambling may be legalized in the future.
Are Canada Online Casinos Paying Attention?
All over the world, jurisdictions are tightening up their iGaming regulations. Now, they’re even engaging in teamwork among regions on opposite sides of the globe.
Clearly, it’s time for Canada to do something more effective than complaining or laughably enacting unconstitutional laws. (Way to go Quebec on Bill 74’s failed IP-blocking plan!) \
There are only two clear avenues to take. One the one hand, Canada can implement border-restrictive laws, similar to those in New Jersey. Alternatively, they can open their borders, requiring offshore, Canada-facing operators to apply for a license. Either way, it would increase revenue and player protections, which is the only thing Canadian official seem to agree needs to happen.