After British Columbia, Now Ontario To Launch Internet Gambling Site
Online casino players in Canada have every reason to rejoice and put a wide grin on their faces. There is good news waiting for them. Now, the eastern province of Ontario has decided to follow the example set up by British Columbia and launches an internet gambling site, which it is going to manage and operate. The scheduled launch is likely to take place sometime in the year 2012.
The announcement was made by lottery officials early this week, and has been widely welcomed by the gambling community. It is believed that the site will be operated and controlled by the Ontario Lottery and Gambling (OLG) Corporation. The regulations will be managed by the province’s Alcohol and Gambling Commission.
Last year this issue has been scrutinized and debated at great length. The move of offering an official licensed gaming service to the gambling community of Canada’s most populous province was greatly opposed. After the premiere of British Columbia’s site last month at PlayNow.com, the debate became even more intense. It is widely expected that the country’s Atlantic jurisdictions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador will follow suit and release a statement on the issue soon.
According to unofficial estimates, Ontarians gamble away approximately $380 million annually on non-Canadian online gambling sites. Officials who advocate setting up the country’s own licensed gambling service are looking forward to grab a major portion of this revenue.
Paul Godfrey, Chairman of OLG, is excited about the rapid developments happening on this front, and has started consultation process about setting up the portal. He says that online commerce is the part of everyday life not only in Canada but globally as well, and the process is a natural progression towards what is going to be a global phenomenon in the years to come. At the same time, the Chairman also stresses the need for incorporating measures that will contribute towards a responsible gaming attitude among the gambling community while providing them with an enjoyable experience.
The OLG is keenly aware that the decision has opened up a debate about the pros and cons of allowing an official online gambling portal to be established and controlled by the authorities. However, they insist that between now and when the service is launched, they will do everything possible to integrate measures towards creating a strong online responsible gaming program, which will offer increased protection to the players.
The OLG will initiate a committee to study and analyze the security procedures adopted by portals in its jurisdiction across Canada and Europe. The best practices from these sites will be adapted and tweaked, if necessary, to make them stringent and doubly safe to protect the online transactions, and ensure that data related to the site and players is kept confidential and private under all circumstances.
They expect that such measures will convince and satisfy the people and organizations who are opposing the move vehemently. The OLG is expected to initiate moves and make announcements that it believes will bring about a change in the attitude of these sections and pave the way for peaceful implementation of the online internet gambling site well within the scheduled time.
The OLG is aware of the influence that these groups can exert on the decision making authorities. It is for this reason that it is trying to get the issues resolved at the earliest and avoid any embarrassment at a later stage.