The Edmonton Journal compares the legalization of online gambling to lowering the legal drinking age to 16, installing draft beer taps in school cafeterias. And, the rest of the province seems to have adopted the same attitude, as Alberta chooses to sit out this round of online gambling.
According to a 2007 study by the University of Lethbridge, over 40% of online gambling revenue is generated by problem gamblers.Researchers concluded that any governments looking to legalize and regulate online gambling should be more responsible than offshore gambling websites that seems to capitalize off of problem gamblers.
Unfortunately, it seems that many provincial governments have rushed into the initiative before considering the downside of enabling gambling addicts. Point in case – the BCLC’s PlayNow.com website, which was rushed into production before ensuring all safeguards were in place. Of course, the problem that resulted was not an influx of problem gamblers, but an unsecure website that compromised the personal banking information of hundreds of players.
The Edmonton Journal also denounces governments’ attempts at fighting online gambling. The OLG states that there will be maximum limits put in place for players so they do not spend too much time or money on the website. However, these types of safeguards will only encourage problem gamblers to spend their money at offshore websites, where no such restrictions exist.
It seems that much more works needs to be done in the online gambling sector before governments can successfully and safely run their own online casinos.