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Local coalition of gaming agencies urges bettors to avoid illegal gambling sites

Online gambling business is booming in Canada, but some local lottery companies feel they are missing out on the majority of winnings.

Organizations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada are working together as a coalition to close illegal gaming websites as offshore operators advertise in their jurisdictions and steal potential profits. paying attention to.

“[We] Be more aware of the ad onslaught issue when it comes to sports games that have occurred in the past period,” said Steve Lautischer, executive vice president of business operations at Alberta Gaming, Alcohol and Cannabis (AGLC). I’m here. .

Online gambling services in Alberta, including sports betting and virtual casino games, launched in September 2020 through the website However, it wasn’t until federal changes in 2021 that betting on individual sports games was legalized in Canada.

Citing a survey conducted in June 2022 by market data firm H2 Gambling Capital, a coalition of gaming agencies said Canada’s online gambling market is currently valued at $3.8 billion and will grow to $6.2 billion by 2026. is expected to grow to

However, that lucrative market poses risks to individual gamblers who may not be aware that they are visiting an illegal site rather than a regulated platform.

“This is certainly a serious problem.. Alberta estimates that between $400 million and $500 million is spent annually on unregulated i-gaming offerings,” he said.

Advertisements are incessant and often appear during televised sports games and sometimes while browsing the Internet on your computer or phone.

Its goal is not to directly dismantle these illicit markets operating outside Canada’s borders, but because gambling through illicit sources can put more at risk. , hopes to be able to pay close attention to where the player is going.

“Just because something is presented to them, they need to be very careful about personal information, banking information and how to participate so that we can protect our citizens.

risk and reward

Advertisements for online gambling, whether legal or not, are very prevalent. Viewers of sports games can be overwhelmed with marketing to entice them to place bets from the comfort of their own home.

This may put more people at risk of developing addictive behaviors.

“We have 24/7 access to online gambling. , Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary and the School’s Addictive Behavior Lab.

Hodgins said state governments have a responsibility to provide gambling sites with certain safeguards to prevent addiction.

“Protective measures available at local sites include people’s ability to limit gambling, so they can pre-promise how much they intend to spend, or even ban gambling for a temporary period. I can,’ he said.

These safeguards are likely not available on illegal sites, said the psychology professor.

It wasn’t until federal changes in 2021 that betting on individual sports games was legalized in Canada. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Hodgins believes the coalition has value in setting clear guidelines for advertising, as well as trying to reduce the amount of illegal gambling sources.

“We’re doing that with other potentially addictive substances,” Hodgins said. “And it’s always kind of a changing situation based on what the public is comfortable with, but efforts are being made to regulate. [advertising] Gambling needs the same. ”

AGLC agrees that advertising standards must be a key focus for the regulated market to move forward.

“They are our citizens and we want to make sure they are protected when they participate. [that] They’re participating in a moderate way,” Rautisher said.