The Effects of the Banning Online Gambling


 The Effects of the Banning Online Gambling

The gambling ban was implemented on July 1st, 2019. The purpose of the law was to eliminate the “brain drain” that occurs when young people move on from their home areas and settle in other jurisdictions. In some cases, this has meant an inability for casinos to attract new customers. There are also many myths surrounding online gambling, such as its purported ability to cure depression or provide easy income streams for those who have fallen victim to addiction.

One of the most common beliefs is that this ban will greatly hurt local economies due to a lack of new customers visiting casinos in person and spending their money there instead of online or at land-based casinos elsewhere in Canada. At the same time, there is strong opposition to this bill, with some people feeling that online gambling should be permitted because it can also have positive effects on the local economy and provide income for remote areas.

In a study complied by Statistics Canada and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council “Monetary and Non-Monetary Impacts of Online Gambling: Results from a Recent Telephone Survey” in 2017 showed that many Atlantic Canadians were already participating in online gambling at the time of the study. The survey asked over 1,000 individuals if they had participated in an online casino or sports betting during a three-month period prior to interviewing them. According to the study, over half of these respondents had gambled at an online casino within the past three months.

The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council published their report in tandem with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC). The ALC commissioned the study because they were concerned about the potential loss of business that would be caused by the passing of Bill C-290. The ALC is one of only two provincial governments in Canada to form a self-regulating body for online gaming, and it was named as one of “Canada's Most Innovative Organizations” by MIT Technology Review in 2016.

The ALC was concerned that the bill would adversely affect their bottom line because many of their customers participate in online gambling. They thought it would be a good idea to conduct a study to determine the impacts of such a ban and eventually chose Statistics Canada to perform the research. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation was chosen because of its history in online gaming and the fact that it is one of only two provincial governments in Canada that regulates this practice. The ALC has been issuing online gambling licenses since 1989, and there are currently about 250 businesses licensed by them as of November 2018.

This study is important to note because it's one of the only ones undertaken regarding this topic. While the results of this study might not exactly reflect the average Canadian, it arguably gives us a fair assessment about the matter and paints a picture of how more people will respond once this law goes into effect.

It should also be noted that the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council and Statistics Canada are both federally funded agencies, meaning that their findings could prove to be less biased than either The Canadian Gaming Association or the Canadian Gaming Industry Alliance would. These two groups have openly lobbied against Bill C-290 since its inception, meaning that they have an agenda in place to try and stop it from being passed.

This data is also important because it contradicts the narrative that many people have tried to promote regarding online gambling.


Although the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council’s report does not include all who participate in online gambling, it still captures a substantial portion of the population and gives us a good idea of how people's attitudes toward it may change once this law is passed. Although most people think that this is going to negatively affect their bottom line, we should take into account the fact that there are over a quarter-million active players currently enrolled in online casinos.

There are also many other studies that have been performed, such as this one compiled by the University of Waterloo regarding online gambling and the economy.

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