Industry Reports

Is Offshore Gambling a Threat for Atlantic Canada?

The Off Shore Gaming Association has recently been accused of attracting players of Atlantic Canada with its online gaming offerings which has deprived the region of a substantial sum. Atlantic Lottery Corporation made it clear that more than CA$100 million a year is being poured into offshore gambling platforms, instead of being gambled on its online platform.

The past few months have taken their toll on the global gaming industry and Canada is among the countries trying to make up for the lockdown situation. Atlantic Lottery Corporation oversees the gaming field of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In a recent statement, President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Keevill stated that offshore gambling has increased in popularity.

OSGA Responds

Mr. Keevill pointed out that the past few months have seen an increase in popularity of offshore gambling platforms. He pointed out that the operators overseeing them have taken advantage of the situation, promoting their online spaces, and attracting online gaming enthusiasts. Mr. Keevill stated that many of them are drawn to the offshore and illegal gaming sites with their diverse sports wagering offerings and more.

In response to this, the Off Shore Gaming Association pointed out that the lottery leader should not blame them for the fact that players seek more riveting online gaming products to spend their time with. The association stated that Atlantic Lottery Corporation has a limited set of offerings available for the players to enjoy. Up until now, lottery products of all sorts are what the online gaming platform is known for.

It should be taken into account that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation does not have online slot titles up for grabs and there might be a fair explanation for this decision. Video Lottery Terminals are quite popular across Atlantic Canada and the Crown corporation wants to maintain their popularity without distracting players with online gaming. This is considered great support for the venues hosting them.

ALC Implements Measures

The Off Shore Gaming Association also pointed out that there is another reason why players prefer offshore gaming platforms and it has been the elephant in the room for years now. Canadian regulations make it impossible for single-event sports wagering to take place in a legal manner within the borders of the country. Players have the permission to place pari-mutuel wagers solely and that is deemed insufficient by some players.

This year could see a push for single-event sports wagering legalization, as five professional sports leagues to the likes of NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS, CFL pushed the idea with a statement addressing the issue. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Attorney General of Canada, and Justice Minister David Lametti received the statement. They all think single-event sports wagering could support the field and make Canada a competitive country.

In an attempt to keep players interested in the Crown corporation’s offerings, Atlantic Lottery Corporation is currently working on the various ways in which it could improve and modernize its online gaming platform and make it a more attractive one for Canadians. Moreover, a total of 61 individuals were laid off last week, as the Crown corporation cited structural changes and focus on digital expansion.