Over the past few years online gaming has become a phenomenon. It’s going from strength to strength and becoming worth more and more. In fact estimates suggest that the online gaming industry is expected to be worth over $170billion by 2018.
However, across the world countries have many different laws on the prohibition of the industry with the likes of the UK and Australia being fairly liberal whilst in China it is strictly unlawful. In North America the industry is particularly interesting, with the USA and Canada on the surface looking as though they take a similar stance on online gambling, but it’s perhaps the Great White North that has the better deal when it comes to playing on the virtual velvets.
In Canada the criminal code doesn’t prohibit online gambling licensed within the country, and any online operations within the borders will be prosecuted. Despite this, it has only happened once in the past.
Although outside of the borders, it is more relaxed on the industry. Any establishment not owned or licensed by a provincial government is eligible for Canadians enjoy. In fact there are an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 offshore sites that allow residents to enjoy, with the likes of the mobile casino by Euro Palace being particularly popular.
And it’s perhaps the rise of mobile technology that has contributed to this. Mobile gambling has taken the industry to new levels – the industry is expected to see 164 million users by 2018 – and it’s maybe partly the reason US States are having a rethink on legalising online gambling.
Canada’s neighbours are becoming more and more welcome to the idea with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware all regulating the industry. However, Canada’s neighbours are much more stringent when it comes to foreign operators.
The US government first came down on operators back in 2006 with the passage of UIGEA regulations, making it illegal for American banks to put through online gaming transactions. In the past year however the debate for online gambling to be regulated in the States has been rising, particularly with the success of it in New Jersey and Nevada, and it’s likely that the likes of California and Colorado could follow in the near future.
The difference in allowing foreign operators to operate in the countries is certainly a big boost for Canada with some of the world’s best gaming sites operating out of countries such as Malta and the Isle of Man, meaning there are plenty more options for players to enjoy.
Although with both countries making steps forwards in regulation of the industry, it may not be too long before both Canada and the USA are as open as the UK in their legalisation, and the online casinos are just as popular as the bright lights of Vegas or the shiny slots of Calgary.