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Copyright (c) 2000 Appeal Publishing Society, University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, Canada 
Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform

TREND AND DEVELOPMENT: Internet Gambling and the Canadian Conundrum


6 Appeal 6


Valerie Jepson


I. Introduction

The past ten years have been a time of great expansion in the Canadian gambling industry. 1 Provincial governments, which maintain primary control of gambling activities, have struggled to develop socially-acceptable policies to guide this expansion. Just as the casino and video gambling policies of the 1990s settle, and some of the public debate dissipates, the Internet gambling issue awaits. To date, Canadian federal and provincial governments have not enacted a new legal framework to deal with the emerging Internet gambling issue. 2 Two countries that Canadian policy makers are sure to have their eyes on are Australia and the United States, applicable jurisdictions because of their federal status. Australia serves as the example of state-managed liberalization by allowing Internet gambling to flourish within a strong regulatory framework. Conversely, federal policy-makers in the United States have focused on an outright ban of the activity.

This paper summarizes the Internet gambling policy options developing in Australia and the United States and places Canada's gambling framework within this context. In all three countries, individual state, territorial, or provincial governments have exercised licensing, regulation, and/or operational control over land-based gambling activities, as opposed to national government 3 control. I will argue that Canadian policy-makers face unique challenges because of the degree of involvement provincial governments have practiced in land-based gambling activities.

A. What is Internet Gambling?

Internet gambling refers to the placing of real money bets using one's personal computer via the Internet. Three general types of ...
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