Fully Regulating Online Gambling in Canada ‘Absolutely Inevitable’

David Martin on Online Gambling Laws in Canada and America

David Martin of Martin and Associates talks to Rebecca Liggero about Amaya Gaming and where Canada and America are in online gambling today.

Online gambling in Canada is considered a grey area now, but not for long.

David Martin, an expert of online gambling laws in America, said the chances of online gambling becoming fully regulated in the country is “absolutely inevitable.”

“It’s absolutely inevitable that this occur. The truth is that Canada has a de facto non-prosecution policy. It does not enforce the adequate provisions of the criminal code, (and) it should be repealed,” Martin told CalvinAyre.com.

In Canada, there is no legal risk in gambling online, and not one person has ever been charged for playing any online casino games. Online casinos in the country thrive legally under the basic premise of the Criminal Code of Canada that does not make it illegal to gamble online unless it falls under recognized areas of the code. Still, Martin said clear laws should be written and passed.

“It should be made clear that people are given a choice to gamble in bricks and mortar or online, and that’s going to happen soon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Canada-based Amaya Gaming continues to forge ahead with its plan to take over the online gambling world. In August 2014, the technology-based solutions provider completed the $4.9 billion acquisition of the Rational Group’s assets, including PokerStars and Full Tilt.

“It’s actually great that Amaya has moved forward with the purchase of the Rational Group and it’s building out its various platforms,” Martin said. “The truth is, now its operations have been approved by the Toronto Stock Exchange associated with the takeover of Rational, that was a rational decision by the Toronto Stock Exchange, and in the area, the Canadian pension investment fund that invests all our CPP (Canada Pension Plan) contributions is a major shareholder of Amaya. They’re wise to be a major shareholder of Amaya. It’s a great investment.”

Amaya has its eyes on the American market, particularly New Jersey, via the PokerStars brand. Martin said the company shouldn’t have any problem getting in.

“I absolutely think they should be allowed in,” he said. “I think it is probable that they will be. Remember Ross (Perot’s) sucking sounds. He was fearful of jobs leaving the United States. If the United States decriminalizes, regulates and taxes, those sucking sounds will be jobs entering the United States. That will be revenue for the U.S. government. Adopting a rational gaming policy can you continue to turn those kinds of jobs into revenue. It’s inevitable.”

The phrase, “giant sucking sound,” was coined during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign by candidate Ross Perot, who was referring to the sound made by jobs heading south for Mexico should the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect. Perot lost to Bill Clinton, and NAFTA went into effect in 1994.