The Ontario government is having trouble balancing their budget. As is the case whenever that happens for a government, gambling gets thrown into the equation.
As early as 2006, the government in the province of Ontario in Canada had a negative outlook towards the potential legalization of online gambling. The current government reiterated mid-August that they are expecting a budget deficit of $14.8 billion this financial year, which means they are going to need – and take – any help they can get.
They are hoping to rein in the budget by 2017-18 but that’s assuming that a slew of public sector cuts go through. In a liberal province like Ontario, those are not likely to be popular.
Hence why the topic of gambling has come up once again. If the doors were opened to internet gambling and the government started to regulate it, it could provide a source of revenue. As it stands now, bettors visit sportsbook watchdog companies like SportsbookReview.com and deposit their money somewhere offshore to gamble. If the government tweaked their policies, they could allow online gambling to happen through Canadian companies, which they could then tax. Also, those companies could then reinvest or also pay corporate taxes to the government, which is also being missed out.
One other thing that concerns the Ontario government is their lottery. Currently, they do allow sports betting and different types of betting through their program called Pro Line. That allows bettors to go to convenience stores and make their picks. If bettors were to shift their focus online, governments would be concerned that their Pro Line profits would be sacrificed.
What they don’t realize is that most people just bet online now anyways, which is why their Pro Line product, which is so out of date, is dying anyways.
It’s unlikely that anything drastic happens soon but don’t be surprised if Ontario discusses more about online gambling in the coming months.
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