Joined: 18 Aug 2004
|Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:21 pm Post subject: Canada opens up I-gambling post-U.S. Prohibition 2.0
|Canada opens up I-gambling post-U.S. Prohibition 2.0 starting on the Left Coast.
B.C.'s online casino plan draws criticism
|The B.C. Lottery Corp. is defending its decision to introduce casino games online that could generate up to $100 million a year in revenue by 2014. Games like blackjack, roulette and poker will be available by next March on the corporation's PlayNow website, according to a release issued Thursday. The corporation wants to tap into the estimated $87 million that British Columbians already spend on unregulated offshore gaming websites. (emphasis added)
"Rather than it all going offshore to places like Antigua, there's an opportunity to keep it here in British Columbia," corporation CEO Michael Graydon told CBC News. The news comes on the heels of a controversial Aug. 17 announcement that the lottery corporation plans to raise the weekly limit on its PlayNow website from $120 to nearly $10,000.
... Graydon said there are provisions to prevent problem gamblers from losing too much money, such as a 24-hour cooling-off period before they can bet higher limits.
B.C.'s plan to introduce the new games online is unprecedented in North America, according to one gambling expert, who noted the U.S. government has outlawed casino-style gambling on the internet. "It's not new, but in terms of being legal and authorized by a government in North America it will be brand new," Bill Thompson, a professor of public administration at the University of Nevada, told CBC News. Thompson said it's a good revenue generator for governments but ultimately takes away from the poor and middle-class people who are attracted to the convenience of a website.
Will they take U.S. bets?
Under the Registration link:
|I don't have a credit card. How can I register?
At this time, BCLC requires all PlayNow customers to supply a credit card number at least during the registration process. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers who choose not to possess or use a credit card and are interested in PlayNow. Please check back for future developments and possible alternative methods of registration.
If I can't supply my mother's maiden name, what should I put in?
If you are unable to supply a mother's maiden name during registration, you may supply an alternate answer to this question. Just remember, if you are subsequently asked to provide your mother's maiden name you must be able to reply with the answer you gave during registration.
I was unable to successfully register, even though I am over 19 years of age, reside in B.C., and supplied a VISA or MasterCard number for which I am a primary cardholder. What can I do?
You can call Consumer Services at 1-866-815-0222 for help with registration. If you wish to ensure that the information used to verify your B.C. residency and age is accurate, the EQUIFAX web site includes details on how to request a COPY of your personal credit history or to request a correction.
A view Pokerpulse shares:
The Vancouver Sun
Don't try to banish online gambling, regulate it
By David Baines
|... the fact is, online gambling services of all kinds are already widely available to Canadian consumers, mainly through offshore providers who beam into Canada via the Internet. These providers are located in places such as Antigua or Costa Rica, beyond the reach of Canadian authorities, or the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec, where federal and provincial regulators dare not tread.
Every year, foreign online gambling companies suck millions of dollars out of the Canadian economy on a tax-free basis. And since they are not regulated in Canada, we have no way of knowing whether the games are rigged, or whether underage people are being allowed to play, or whether they are being used for illicit purposes such as money laundering. Which brings me to the B.C. Lottery Corp.'s recently announced expansion into online gambling, which has raised such a fuss in the media. As mentioned, the genie is already out of the bottle. There is no point in trying to shove it back in. On the contrary, there is much to be said for shifting gamblers from unregulated to regulated gambling websites, where games and payouts are monitored, taxes are collected (in the case of private companies), and proceeds remitted to the public treasury (in the case of government-run sites).
Consider Bodog, an extremely controversial gambling business founded by former Vancouver resident Calvin Ayre. Ayre is not exactly a poster boy for high business morality. In 1987, he was implicated in a marijuana-trafficking ring. He was not charged, but his father and brother-in-law received lengthy jail terms. In 1996, he got into trouble with the B.C. Securities Commission and was banned from the B.C. securities market for 20 years. Although he was deemed unfit for the public markets, he was free to operate a multibillion-dollar gaming operation.
Operating initially from Costa Rica, Ayre built Bodog into the largest sportsbook betting operation in the world. He flaunted his wealth and thumbed his nose at U.S. authorities, who took exception to him soliciting bets from Americans and extracting millions of tax-free dollars from the U.S. economy. Knowing he was a targeted man, Ayre moved his business from Costa Rica to the relatively safer jurisdiction of Antigua and stopped travelling to the United States.
Although Bodog maintained website and customer support services in Vancouver and Burnaby, the company never took bets from Canadian residents. But Ayre still wasn't safe. As the U.S. Justice Department turned up the heat, the possibility that Canadian authorities would arrest him on Canadian soil at the behest of American authorities loomed larger.
In June, after the U.S. Internal Revenue Service seized $24 million US from Bodog accounts at U.S. payment processors, Ayre shut down his Vancouver and Burnaby operations and announced he had sold the business to the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, which runs hundreds of gaming websites from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. "It's true, I'm packing it in," Ayre said on Bodog's website in April 2008.
... Ayre never left. What's more, Bodog is now about to take bets from Canadian residents. Rebecca Liggero, who works for Ayre in Antigua and uses the Internet handle "Bodog Becky," said she works for BodogBrand.com out of Antigua, which licenses the Bodog brand and technology to the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group for the U.S. market, and to other operators in Europe and Asia. On July 23, Liggero interviewed Keith McDonnell, head of Bodog Europe, which has the licence to run Bodog gambling services in Europe and Canada. "Canadian players will be able to access a Canada-specific product suite from www.bodog.ca starting in the fall of this year," she quoted McDonnell as saying. "I would expect the Canadian market -- extremely technologically literate, sports lovers and a very significant poker base -- to be a huge success story in 2009 and 2010. The products will be offered pursuant to the Antiguan gaming licenses." In another post, Liggero said she thinks Bodog.ca will start operations on Sept. 1.
I view this as an alarming prospect. Canadian authorities should do what they can to bring this unregulated activity under control. It's difficult, if not impossible, to banish it, so we may as well licence it. It certainly doesn't make sense to chase away a legitimate, highly regulated operator like the B.C. Lottery Corp. and essentially hand market share to a rogue operator like Bodog
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