Justin Trudeau is one of the most progressive leaders in Canadian history and many believe that he is dragging this country into the 21st century, moving it ahead of our neighbours to the south in many industries. One of these industries is gambling, something that has also proved controversial in the United States, but something that is experiencing a rebirth in the Great White North.
But what does the future hold for this liberal leader and for the gambling industry? Are we heading towards a bight future where offline and online gambling is as widely embraced as it is in countries like the UK and Australia, or are we going in the opposite direction?
What is Justin Trudeau’s Stance on Online Gambling?
Online gambling is technically legal in Canada, but it exists in a grey area and one that is dictated by provincial law, as opposed to national law. This could cause issues for Justin Trudeau if he wanted to establish a sweeping law, but there is precedent for this. After all, he has already established laws to relax the restrictions on cannabis and to undo some of the damage done by the gender pay gap, so there is a chance that something similar could be done with gambling.
Online gambling also tends to be more relaxed in countries that have more liberal laws. The UK is a prime example of this, as is Australia. Countries like Italy and France, however, which have a history of nationalist views, are much stricter when it comes to gambling. The same can be said for both China and the United States—the former has a tight control on all aspects of its citizens lives, while the latter is steeped in religious values and is dictated by a religious majority.
It all really comes down to whether Justin Trudeau sees some good in online gambling, and he should as the gambling industry is one of the richest in the country and new laws that relax online gambling could add billions of dollars to the government’s coffers every single year.
Profit and Loss: The Gambling Industry in Canada
In 2017, the Canadian gambling industry generated over $17 billion Canadian dollars. To put that into perspective, the coffer industry is worth a little over $6 billion and the pharmaceutical industry is worth around $22 billion.
And that only includes the money generated directly through this industry. It doesn’t factor in all the additional tourist revenue from the millions of domestic and international tourists that flock to this country to play in its casinos.
Of that $17 billion, $9 billion was used to fund government and community projects, with the money going towards everything from homeless support charities to construction projects. It also helps to create over 130,000 jobs, which accounts for a significant percentage of working adults in Canada.
And these are just the stats for offline gambling. In the last few years the online gambling industry has grown at a greater rate and is worth considerably more money. If Canada were to legalize it and allow companies to establish online casinos here then not only could they start to tax Canadian citizens playing on Canadian sites, but they could also embrace gambling companies looking for a North American base.
It could add tens of billions to the economy and create over 100,000 jobs. It could even cause an influx of money from the United States. American poker players already see Canada as a second home and often flock here so they can play on online poker sites. If the same were to happen with online casinos then the country’s GDP could rise significantly.
Of course, it’s not all positive and there could be some issues, the biggest of which concerns the inevitable rise in problem gambling. In fact, this issue is said to affect millions of Canadians, owing to the fact that over 80% of legal age adults play the lottery and at least half use other forms of gambling in any given year.
This can cost society a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it’s a small issue and one that will happen—and is already happening—regardless.
We can also look to countries like Finland to find resolutions for this. They built a casino in their capital city and use most of the profits from that casino to fund problem gambling support. It may seem like a reckless move, creating gambling addiction just so you can cure it, but in fact they had a gambling problem before the casino was built, and problem gambling is now less of an issue than it was.
Gambling addiction is like drug addiction: it exists regardless of legal status and it will continue to exist even if that status is changed. We know that for a fact. However, we also know that when countries relax their laws on drug use they experience a drop in the rate of addiction, overdose, death and societal problems. Such is the case in countries like the Netherlands and Uruguay, and it’s also something we’ve seen in the US and right here in Canada following changes to the cannabis laws.
In other words, the issue of problem gambling is quite a serious one and is not going anywhere. Legalizing online gambling won’t make it go away and may make it worse in the short term, but it could also fund organizations that can help to stem its flow and this, in the long term, could be the answer that Canada has been looking for.
The Justin Trudeau Casino Scam
Before we bring this article to a close, it’s worth mentioning another connection between Justin Trudeau and online gambling: the Justin Trudeau casino scam. This is a widely common scam, and if you came here after searching for the words “Justin Trudeau and Online Casinos”, or a similar variant, you may have encountered it yourself.
This scam claims that the government is using money from the sale of cannabis to fund an online casino, and it culminates with a link to that online casino. It looks legitimate and seems to come from a real newspaper, but this story is not real and the casino itself is not regulated. It’s there to take your money—so avoid it at all costs.
We have discussed the issue with scam casinos before on this site and have many articles that you can read to learn how to avoid them. If you’re looking for a genuine casino that Canadian players can join, you don’t need to wait and you definitely don’t need to go clicking suspicious links in fake newspapers. Simply check the casino linked at the top of this page. It’s reputable, it’s established, it allows Canadian players to sign up, and it’s available right now, regardless of what Mr Trudeau and his government have planned.