Earnings and income taxes
Currently the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), states that revenue or money earned from gambling at online casinos is not taxable and so it does not have to be reported. Though revenues generated via business relating to online casinos are taxable. The definition and the implementation is not clear mainly because the current instruments to detect and implement the law are not in place. Though things will have to change since many players in Canada and even those that have moved to Canada from America to play banned online games like poker professionally online will need to be taxed. Plus, opening up online casinos in Canada would mean that there should be strict regulation in place that prevents underage players from circumventing the system.
A need for a cohesive framework
The current state of online gambling in Canada is a mishmash of various state regulations that have varying rules for charity gaming, lotteries, and horseracing as well as sports betting. However, on the flip side online casino gaming is strictly outlawed in Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. This is what contributes to the vast number of people who feel confused as to if they can gamble online and if so what types of games can they play. Also, international casino operators are hesitant to enter Canada because it's nearly impossible to block sections or parts of a website in varying provinces. All of this will have to change!
Like in parts of Europe, there is the dire need for a central framework for online casinos that’s implemented across Canada. Minor differences could mean the startup capital variations for a new casino, the bonuses offered and the establishment of a physical office from where the casino operates within each state. There could be a potential tie in with land based Canadian casinos to their online counterparts. This is the only way that online gambling has a future in Canada. Plus, by encouraging online casinos to operate in Canada the government could stand to collect millions in taxes each year from both players and establishments alike. Though right now Canadians play but online casinos give nothing to the Canadian government, so it’s a loss for the national exchequer.
Competition will drive innovation
Today a limited number of casinos operating in some parts of Canada look to be encouraging but the lack of competition means that these casinos are mediocre at best. I personally think that more casinos will drive innovation like it has in parts of the EU. This will mean more games for players, better bonuses, and improved customer service, all of which is good for everyone.
5 years onwards
Canadian gambling is a big deal, there are thousands of Canadians that want and continue to gamble online. However, even by modest estimates it will take another 5 years for Canadian casinos to really get the attention they deserve and that will only be possible if the government puts up the right legal framework that benefits both casino operators and players alike. Till then Canadians will have to just trust offshore online casinos that continue to offer improved bonuses, better customer service and a large selection of games but which are not regulated by Canada.
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Good blog and I agree on your opinion. It was a big surprise for me that PlayOlg came online with a licensed online casino, leaving the competitors behind. I am for a open market with the right of every company, that is caring for their players, to join/apply for a license!
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