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Bodog Indictment Raises Questions in Canada

The seizure of Bodog and arrest of its founders by the US highlights the different attitudes of the US and Canada to online gambling.

Last week's US indictment of Calvin Ayre on charges relating to illegal online gambling operations has raised questions in Ayre's native Canada.

Why does Canada act more tolerantly towards offshore online gambling than its neighbor? In Canada, only provincial governments can operate online gambling sites and few choose to. However, Canadians wager around 4billion Canadian dollars per year at around 2000 offshore online casinos and poker rooms.

One possible answer is the imprecision of the online gambling law. Experts say offshore online casinos are not breaching any Canadian law and so cannot be prosecuted.

Another opinion finds fault with the enforcement authorities, saying they do not devote enough attention to the issue.

A third possible answer is an indifferent Canadian public opinion towards online gambling.

The authorities' attitude could change if more provinces entered online gambling. This would emphasize the economic disadvantage of ignoring unlicensed operators.

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