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Quebec Keen to Forget Online GamblingPublished June 30, 2015 by Sol FH
Unlike the rest of Canada, Quebec seeks to block illegal websites with filtering measure.
For governments all over the world the internet is a jurisdictional nightmare. Some try to control content and block certain areas of the internet, while other like the Federal Government in Canada have a Telecommunications Act, which stops internet providers from controlling the users' browsing.
Operators are well aware of the negative effect that doing business on the internet in illegal areas has on a company’s reputation. Many are even leaving markets that have made new regulations or laws against online gambling.
Gambling in Canada
Canada is an interesting example. Even though there are certain provinces in the country that allow and even promote online gambling, it is against federal law to operate an online casino or poker room. The way that these laws are enforced however, is still a confusing issue. Due to the Telecommunications Act, censorship or blocking of a certain site is against the law for internet providers. “The content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.” ISP’s are effectively prohibited from unilaterally blocking content,” the law states.
In provinces like Quebec though, announcements have already been made, and budget created to create an amendment to the federal law. “A legislative amendment will be proposed to introduce an illegal website filtering measure. In accordance with this measure, Internet service providers will not be allowed to provide access to an online gaming and gambling website whose name is on a list of websites that are to be blocked, drawn up by Loto-Québec.”
If enforced, this law could be detrimental to any and all online gambling in Quebec and there would undoubtedly be long court battles from the operators therein. The government of Quebec started a ‘working group’, whose recommendation was exactly the opposite of their decision. The Working Group essentially said that the best way to limit online gambling is to set up an online gambling licensing system and allow private companies to work.