Jun 23, 2016
In his cover story for Canadian Gaming Lawyer, Osler’s Gaming Practice Co-Chair, Ilkim Hincer, explores the challenges of regulating the gaming industry in an era of ever-evolving technological change. According to Ilkim, one of the issues is that the gaming industry itself is especially prone to be affected by technological advancements (as such, it’s difficult to even imagine what the industry may look like a year from now). Yet, Canada’s gaming law, which is described by some as “‘a patchwork of fossilized law’, largely prohibitive and a carry-over from English statutes,” has not changed to reflect current market conditions, including the prevalence of online gaming. In fact, Canadian provisions, specifically the “Disorderly Houses, Gaming and Betting” provisions set out in Part VII of the Criminal Code (the Code), have not been “modernized” since 1985 and are geared more to “traditional, land-based operations and realities.”
In the article, Ilkim provides a brief history of Canadian gaming law and associated amendments. He also discusses the rapidly changing gaming industry and Canada’s present state of provincial regulation and legislation as well as efforts to address industry innovation within the limits of Part VII of the Code, including the Québec government’s investigation into an online gambling licensing system that would protect the general public. As Ilkim states, there are a number of difficult questions that need to be answered when it comes to choosing how to offer and regulate gaming to Canadians, especially when technology enables the industry to seamlessly operate across borders.
Read more about the issues of regulating today’s Canadian gaming industry in Ilkim Hincer’s article “The Future of Gaming: The challenge of regulation in a world of change” (PDF) in the Summer 2016 edition of Canadian Gaming Lawyer.