Online Gambling Blocking in Quebec in Trouble

canada 2In May, the Canadian province of Québec passed its budget bill, Bill 74, which is normally very boring to the average person, but this bill contained a twist that outraged a lot of people. Bill 74 authorized the province to require internet service providers (ISPs) to block any online gambling site that was not licensed by the provincial government. This differs from other laws we are used to in various countries and states that simply say that unlicensed sites are illegal; this is actually a form of internet censorship, deputizing the ISPs to play the role of sheriff.

Québec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said that the goal here is to protect citizens, that it is for “the health and safety” of Québec residents, but in reality, the aim of a site blacklist is to protect the government-run monopoly on internet gaming. Loto-Québec, the government’s lottery commission, operates Espacejeux, the only licensed online gambling site in Québec. Loto-Québec got the online gaming site ban language inserted into Bill 74; the budget even says that the ban would boost internet gambling revenue for the government by $13.5 million in 2016-2017 and $27 million per year thereafter.

Fortunately, it looks like the Canadian federal government isn’t going to stand for this tomfoolery. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recently issued a statement saying that the online gaming ban violates Canadian law. That law from the Telecommunications Act:

Except where the Commission approves otherwise, a Canadian carrier shall not control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.

More at Poker News Daily

Related Stories from This Week in Gambling:

  • Kahnawake Plan to Operator Online Sports Betting Site The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is today calling on the Senate of Canada to bring Bill C290 to an immediate vote. Their inaction on the bill continues to foster an illegal, unregulated and dangerous environment for Canadian sports bettors. On June 2 the Mohawk Council of […]
  • Czech Online Gambling Blocking “Constitutional” The Czech Constitutional Court has ruled that controversial laws regarding ISP-blocking of unlicensed online gambling websites are constitutional. The regulations were introduced at the start of this year as part of major changes to laws regarding internet gaming in the Czech […]
  • Remote Gambling Association questions European Parliament’s online gaming stance iGaming Business - Online gambling trade organisation the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is “disappointed” at the European Parliament’s decision to single out internet gambling in a new Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). The European Parliament recently announced that it would […]