Online Gambling

November 4, 2006 at 8:22 pm 5 comments

“Click the Mouse and Bet the House”- Senator John Kyl

Internet gambling has become a booming industry.  As harmless as online gambling seems, it has many associated problems. One major obstacle Public Relations practitioners are faced with is the regulatory and enforcement challenges associated with the legality of online gambling.

PR practitioners face many issues and concerns when dealing with such a scrutinized industry.  PR practitioners have to make ethical and socially acceptable decisions regarding campaigns for online gambling.  PR practitioners have to ensure that their company and society is given adequate facts when trying to find a middle ground until the government puts regulations on this industry.

Online gambling is one of the fastest growing businesses worldwide, becoming “an essentially borderless activity that poses regulatory and enforcement challenges,” according to the Government Accountability Office in 2002. 

In Public Relations, practitioners will be faced with making ethical decisions on how to view and publicize online gambling. Heydary, a writer commented that “the situation in Canada is simply unclear as there are few gaming cases that provide clear-cut guidelines regarding online gaming and advertising.”  

The Canadian government has taken the stance that running online gambling operations is subject to criminal liability and advertising for online gambling is considered illegal.  However, contradicting ideas surround the legality of online gambling in Canada.  According to a CBC News Online article, companies such as Cryptologic exist in Canada, which is a major supplier for internet gambling software.  The article also states that the average Canadian online gamer may not be breaking the law if they log on.

According to the Canadian Federation on Compulsive Gambling (Ontario), betting online on a sports game would be legal but betting online on a casino type game is illegal.  What is legal and what is illegal?  How can it be determined who is breaking the law and what are the regulations?

Public Relations practitioners have a challenge in performing their job effectively because they do not have any solid legislation surrounding this issue.  It is a practitioner’s job to provide individuals in this society with adequate and informational knowledge on online gambling, which is difficult when the government provides no information.  PR practitioners need to know the legality associated with participating in such activities.

Cristina Taglione

For more interesting information please visit the following sites’internet%20gambling’’internet%20gambling%20legal%20in%20canada’ 



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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jamie Gill  |  November 4, 2006 at 11:52 pm


    You made good observations on online gambling. It will be difficult to regulate it, and I think there needs to be limitations put on in terms of time, amount of money that can be gambled. If there is no regulation, and online players just gamble, it will become an addiction.

    Jamie Gill

  • 2. prclass  |  November 5, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for replying Jamie…it will be very difficult to regulate online gambling but it certainly is something that should have been regulated already. Addiction is certainly a big issue as well as young individuals addiction has become a rising problem. The government must make a decision on this issue and soon because the reprocussions aren’t good.


  • 3. prclass  |  November 6, 2006 at 2:48 am

    I just cant see how effective government regulation on gambling sites will be . For example, I play online poker on a site that is run out of England, so what does that mean in terms of jurisdictional law? what it will lead to is Canadian online gambling sites seting up shop south of the border having a U.S. domain that excludes them from any regulations that the Canadian government enacts. It should be intersting to see the effort however, even though its likely to be ineffective.


  • 4. prclass  |  November 6, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    RE: According to The Canadian Federation on Compulsive Gambling (Ontario), if betting online on a sports game then it would be legal but betting on a casino type game online is considered illegal (CFCG, 1999)

    I found this very interesting. Not knowing a whole lot about the online gambling industry ( I play poker for free on the internet, and that’s the extent of my fun), I do know however that Sport gambling is a huge market. I would think that given the fact that you can just as easily plummet into debt by betting on your favourite sports team would make it just as illegal as casino type games in the eyes of the Canadian Federation on Compulsive Gambling of Ontario.
    Great job Cristina!

    Krista B

  • 5. Charchyano  |  December 1, 2006 at 3:16 am

    I love gambling… I think the Ontario Government should expand with gambling. I would love to see more sports betting available.


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