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Ontario Considers Online Gambling To Boost Revenues

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

11 August 2010

The government on Ontario has announced that it will be launching taxed online gaming, under the auspices of the state-run Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, as part of efforts to bridge the province’s CAD19.7bn (USD18.9bn) deficit.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) said on August 10 that it would launch a consultation on online gambling to consider the implementation of a system similar to that already in place elsewhere, such as Canada’s other provinces British Columbia, and the Atlantic Provinces, and in many European Union states including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Sweden.

“Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and the OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gaming and growing its marketplace in the future,” said OLG Chair, Paul Godfrey. “The OLG’s Internet gaming program will stress responsible gaming while providing an enjoyable experience for Ontario players,” Godfrey said.

According to the OLG, Ontarians spend nearly CAD400m online annually through unregulated Internet gaming providers. “These mostly-offshore providers are not regulated or licensed to operate in Ontario, nor do they have any mandate to serve the public interest, as the OLG does,” the OLG said.

The OLG is to begin a consultation and implementation process over the next 18 months. Between now and 2012 when the program is set to launch, the OLG has said it will be focusing on how to implement best practices and security procedures, as adopted in other jurisdictions.

The OLG currently runs provincial lottery games, and operates 27 gaming facilities including 4 resort casinos, generating returns for the province of CAD2bn annually.

TAGS: tax | gambling tax | commerce | internet | e-commerce | gambling | Canada

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