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Quebec Using Health Laws to eliminate online gambling competitors
Sunday March 13,2016 : QUEBEC TO USE HEALTH PLOY IN ONLINE GAMBLING CLAMPDOWN?
Quebec’s Finance Minister says public health laws fall within province's jurisdiction.
Rather than clash with Canada's federal communications laws, Quebec finance minister Carlos Leitao has chosen public health legislation as a more convenient vehicle to push forward on Quebec's drive to eliminate online gambling competitors to the province's Loto-Quebec run and underperforming Espacejeux.
InfoPowa readers will recall that Quebec's controversial anti-online gambling measure has been under consideration for some time, and envisages authorising Loto-Quebec to draw up lists of "illegal" online gambling operators which the provincial government would then require internet service providers (ISPs) to block, creating a virtual monopoly for Espacejeux.
But the federal Telecommunications Act has provisions that preclude ISPs from interfering with "...the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by ISPs for the public.”
It is clearly an essentially telecommunications issue, although interference with financial transactions has also been mooted, but Leitao is hesitant about tackling it through the possibly problematic federal communications legislation, preferring the public health approach, where provinces have more local authority.
“There are things we can do on our side because we can tackle these questions from a public health perspective, which is in our jurisdiction,” Leitao has said.
Quebec's dubious motives and the nature of the proposed legislation has come under attack from opposition politicians, consumer watchdogs, privacy action groups, law experts, freedom of speech advocates and internet neutrality proponents, who have pointed out that the Quebec proposal to effectively censor the internet dangerously opens the door to extensions of the law to ecommerce and other sectors.
The provincial government is pressing ahead with its anti-online gambling plan despite the recommendations of its own Quebec Working Group on Online Gambling, which thoroughly studied the pros and cons of the genre and concluded that Quebec should regulate and licence online gambling within the province, and even facilitate it by publicising operators with local licenses.
The Working Group also reported that only a small percentage (0.04 percent) of the population was at risk of problem gambling, and that Quebecers generally spend little money or time gambling.
Meanwhile, Loto-Quebec has quantified the monetary advantage it could gain by eliminating the online competition; an additional Cdn$13.5 million in 2016-2017 revenues, and an additional Cdn$27 million in subsequent years could accrue to Espacejeux.
The Quebec government has been repeatedly warned that pursuing its plans will result in further confrontations with action groups, and the possibility of judicial opposition in terms of the interference with the internet. So far these warnings appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
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Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgaming’s customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at –115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
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Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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