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CANADIAN ACADEMIC CRITICAL OF INTERNET GAMBLING

The Edmonton Sun carried an interesting article on Canadian online gambling this week, quoting extensively from the Lethbridge University academic Robert Williams, a name becoming synonymous with negative views on the subject.
 
The academician fears an onslaught of problem gambling in Canada as a result of the growing interest in Internet gaming, where he claims that accessibility and better payout rates due to lower overheads are attracting more punters.
 
Williams has carried out informative research and produced useful information, and this was showcased in the Edmonton Sun piece.
 
His claims that free-play results at online casinos are better than real-money gambling in order to deceptively entice players and take their money are arguable, but his studies have shown that underage gamblers use free-play facilities extensively, and then run into trouble when they reach gambling age and play for real money.
 
Half of North American high school and post-secondary students have played on free-play online gambling sites, he says his studies have shown, along with the interesting fact that in Canada the average monthly loss of individual Internet gamblers is $541 compared to an $82 loss for all gamblers.
 
Williams's estimate that worldwide revenues from online gambling will reach $20 billion in 2008 will raise eyebrows, but he claims that this is based upon his as yet unpublished report written in conjunction with the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre.
 
Canadian levels of problem gambling are around 3 percent, says Williams, but this is growing and the majority of online gambling revenue comes from this morally questionable source.
 
The Kahnawake First Nation online gambling licensing jurisdiction near Montreal is mentioned prominently in the article, with Williams commenting that despite Canadian restrictions confining gambling to provincially approved operators, the enclave is host to some 300 to 400 Internet gambling websites.
 
"The Mohawks there are so militant in advancing their sovereignty issues and it's such a sensitive area for the Quebec government that they choose not to prosecute," Williams told the Edmonton Sun, pointing out that "ridiculously low" fees of $10 000 are charged, resulting in an offshore flow of "enormous" profits.
 
Other First Nation groups may also be quietly running Internet gambling sites, adds Williams. "My guess is some of them are operating but they're trying to be as low-key about it as they can because they know they'll get prosecuted if they become more public."
 
In fact, Canadians playing online poker could potentially be charged, since online gambling is supposed to be provincially regulated. But the law is unclear on whether it's illegal to bet on an online offshore site because of the jurisdictional issue, says Williams.
 
The academic is against further legalisation of Internet gambling in Canada, which he says is currently only offered provincially in the provinces of British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.
 
"The entire trend towards Internet gambling is a dangerous one," he says, noting that the rates of problem gambling are much higher with online games.
 
"No doubt (online gambling) is almost impossible to prohibit," he says. "But that doesn't mean you throw in the towel."
 
The Edmonton Sun writer offered a personal opinion: "I'd argue that if people are going to gamble anyway, it's better to regulate it carefully and reap the economic benefits while boosting services for problem gamblers. After all, the genie's out of the bottle."



Gambling News :

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MPN Charity Poker Tournament at ICE 2017 - During what was a busy three-days for Microgaming at ICE Totally Gaming 2017, the MPN team enjoyed a charity poker tournament with Microgaming operators on Tuesday 7 February.

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NHL Odds: Forsberg Faces Elliott in Nashville - The last time the Nashville Predators played against the Calgary Flames, Calgary had a 4-1 lead five minutes into the second period. Nashville responded with four back-to-back goals, including a hat trick from centreman Filip Forsberg. Both teams went into overtime with five goals, and Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano (12 goals, 22 assists) scored the winning goal.

Sit & Go 2.0 launched online exclusively at Americas Cardroom - Get ready to cheer like a champion before the first flop is even dealt. The much-anticipated Sit & Go 2.0 is now launched online exclusively at Americas Cardroom and Sit & Go players are reaping the benefits of the next evolution of poker.

NBA Odds: Hawks, Wiz in Southeast Showdown - The Washington Wizards (42-27 SU, 36-32-1 ATS) can pretty much secure the Southeast Division title with a win Wednesday night over the Atlanta Hawks (37-32 SU, 31-38 ATS). Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN; the Wizards lead Atlanta by five games with less than a month remaining before the playoffs.

Mega Moolah progressive jackpot Hit Again - Microgaming’s Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slot has been hit yet again at just over €6.6 million!

NBA Odds: Clippers Try to Slow Down Bucks in LA - Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin are two of the most talented and versatile forwards in the NBA. The two lead their teams into battle on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

NCAAB Odds: SMU Hosts Tulsa With AAC Title on the Line - There aren’t too many college basketball teams more profitable than the SMU Mustangs (25-4 SU, 18-5-1 ATS). They host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (14-14 SU, 15-12 ATS) this Thursday night, tipping off at 8 PM ET on CBSSN.

NHL Odds: Canadiens Welcome Islanders Tonight - The Montreal Canadiens (32-20-8) welcome the New York Islanders (28-21-10) on Thursday (7:30 PM ET on SNE). After getting their first victory under new head coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens will look to build on that momentum against a red-hot Islanders team.

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