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Are personal and premises licences needed? Do key suppliers need authorisation? The persons who are required to be registered as gaming suppliers differ from province to province, but only to a minor extent. An overview of the system of registration in the Province of Ontario is therefore sufficient to provide a sense of what will be required in other provinces.
Ontario has the following classes of registration for gaming suppliers:. Operator person who operates a gaming site that is, either a casino or a slot machine facility. Gaming-Related Supplier person who manufactures, provides, installs, tests, maintains or repairs gaming equipment or who provides consulting or similar services directly related to the playing of a lottery scheme or the operation of a gaming site. Non-Gaming-Related Supplier person who provides goods or services that relate to the construction, furnishing, repair, maintenance or business of a gaming site or a related business but who is not directly related to the playing of a lottery scheme or the operation of a gaming site.
Trade Union a trade union that represents registered gaming assistants employed in or at a gaming site. Category 1 Gaming Assistant individual who is employed in the conduct, management or operation of a lottery scheme or in the operation of a gaming site and who exercises a significant level of decision-making authority or has significant supervisory or training responsibilities with respect to the lottery scheme or the site.
Category 2 Gaming Assistant individual who is employed in the conduct, management or operation of a lottery scheme or in the operation of a gaming site but who does not exercise a significant level of decision-making authority or have significant supervisory or training responsibilities with respect to the lottery scheme or the site. As persons are registered within a particular class of gaming suppliers, they are by definition restricted with respect to the activities in which they can legally engage.
They are then restricted by the terms of the contract entered into with the provincial lottery corporation or other agent of the Crown to whom they will be supplying goods or services. There are no firm residency requirements or restrictions on persons applying for registration.
Each applicant will, however, be required to pass the risk assessment outlined in question 2. Each province has its own process for applying for gaming supplier registrations but, again, they are relatively similar, and Ontario provides a good example of what is required in most provinces. In order to be registered as an operator or supplier, a company must complete three forms: The initial risk assessment involves the review of an applicant's completed application materials as well as information obtained based on a standard background check.
This information is evaluated based on five criteria which are considered key indicators of an individual's or business's appropriateness to be registered. The five criteria related to businesses e. A business may be exempt from the requirement to register as a non-gaming-related supplier if: Each province differs in this regard but as the organisational structures are similar, Ontario will be used as an example.
The AGCO issues registrations with expiry dates. Prior to expiry, the registrant must complete and submit the same form as used for the initial application for registration. Each registrant must also pay an annual fee e. Registrations may be revoked for any number of reasons but only after disciplinary action short of revocation. In Ontario, registrants who are not in compliance with the law usually receive a warning first, followed by a monetary penalty if still non-compliant.
If the registrant continues to be non-compliant, the AGCO will issue a notice advising the registrant that they have 15 days in which to appeal the decision to a separate government appeal tribunal that is not associated with the AGCO. If the registrant does not appeal or loses on appeal, the registration will be revoked. Please include in this answer the material promotion and advertising restrictions.
The key limitation arises from the fact that all gambling products and services must be provided exclusively by or through a licence from a provincial government. The lottery corporations in each province will decide which types of products they wish to carry from time to time and are able to change those policy decisions at will. As the provider of the products and services, they will exercise significant control over the performance of the products, the locations in which they are placed, and the marketing that is permitted.
While no product or service is fixed and the situation is fluid from province to province, there are general broad trends that provide some guidance with respect to the provision of gambling products and services.
Ticket lotteries tend to be provided exclusively by provincial lottery corporations and licensed charities albeit using private product and service providers. Casinos are operated both by private operators e. Bingo and raffles are generally left to charities. Betting other than pari-mutuel betting is provided by provincial lottery corporations through their websites. Unlike in the United States, there are no rights specifically granted to aboriginal bands to provide gambling services in Canada.
Any band or other aboriginal group that provides legal gambling services does so as a service supplier to the applicable provincial government. In some provinces such as Saskatchewan, the government has made a policy decision to contract out the provision of a significant portion of gambling services to aboriginal groups but this is a purely contractual relationship.
The bands in question have no independent right to provide gambling services, nor could Saskatchewan or any other province purport to grant them that right, given the underlying federal gaming prohibition in the Code. As the majority of private corporations operating in the gambling industry in Canada are, of necessity, merely registered suppliers of gambling products and services to the provincial governments, there are no industry-specific taxes or levies.
Such companies are required to comply with generally applicable federal and provincial income tax laws but there is no separate regime of taxes within the industry.
As the providers of gambling services in their respective jurisdictions, the provincial lottery corporations have all addressed social responsibility in their regulations and policies, if not in their statutes. Any private companies that provide services to the public on behalf of the lottery corporations are required to conform with those policies and regulations.
Those policies generally include training programmes for employees regarding responsible gaming, advising and informing all players concerning responsible gaming and how to make informed choices about products and play in general, and the operation of voluntary exclusion programmes.
Once again, using Ontario as an example, the OLG has a Responsible Gambling Centre at all sites, with staff from the Responsible Gambling Council at eight locations; there is mandatory training for all front-line and management staff; and they run a self-exclusion programme that uses technology such as facial recognition.
It is a given that minors are excluded from all forms of gambling activity including the purchase of lottery tickets. Does your jurisdiction permit virtual currencies to be used for gambling and are they separately regulated? As noted above, the only entities that can legally supply gambling in Canada are provincial governments either directly through their respective lottery corporations or through service suppliers to those lottery corporations and charitable organisations licensed by provincial governments.
At present, section 5 k of the PCTFA states that the record-keeping, identity verification and reporting requirements apply to "casinos, as defined in the regulations, including those owned or controlled by Her Majesty".
The relevant regulations then define "casino" as a person or entity that is licensed, registered, permitted or otherwise authorised to do business pursuant to the Code. The amendments clearly identify the "government of a province" as the organisation to which the statute applies in the case of both land-based and online casinos.
These amendments were likely made as a result of the confusion arising in cases involving lottery corporations fined by FINTRAC for failure to comply with reporting requirements concerning activities occurring at casinos operated by private companies albeit under contract with the lottery corporation. Until these amendments were introduced, many commentators took the position that the statute would, in those cases, apply to the operators rather than the provincial lottery corporation.
At present, virtual currencies are not recognised by any level of government in Canada. They are regulated but only to the extent that virtual currency dealers are required to comply with Canada's anti-money laundering laws. Having said that, the Canadian Securities Administrators an umbrella organisation of Canada's provincial and territorial securities regulators recently issued a guidance document on cryptocurrency offerings which included advice on the application of Canadian securities law to certain types of those offerings.
There is no accepted legal definition of online gambling in Canada. For the purposes of this section, we use the term "online gambling" to refer to any form of gambling that is virtual rather than tangible, including any gambling activity that is mediated through a computerised system including applications, software and websites. Provincial governments, alone or in concert, are permitted to provide any online gambling activity that they desire, subject only to the restrictions in section 4.
That section provides that permitted lottery schemes that is, those that a provincial government may offer do not include the activities of "bookmaking, pool selling or the making or recording of bets Most provinces have read this to prohibit any type of sports betting other than parlay betting.
Legal online sports betting therefore does not permit betting on single games or other types of sporting events.
While there is no legislation or case law that specifically criminalises or otherwise prohibits the provision of online gambling by private companies, it is generally accepted by the industry that private online gambling operated from within Canada for Canadian players will be caught by the prohibitions found in the Code.
There is less certainty around the issue of online gaming provided by persons whose operations are located entirely outside of Canada. To date, there have been no charges laid against any such offshore operator, and so the law in that regard remains untested. Having said that, all levels of government and all of the provincial regulators have taken the position that such operations are illegal and should be closed down. Only one province has addressed the advertisement of online gaming.
In , Ontario amended its Consumer Protection Act to add section To date, there are no reported cases that consider this section or the prohibition. There are no material restrictions on legal that is, government-run online gambling in Canada. With respect to offshore online gambling, neither the provincial governments nor the federal government have taken steps to limit access to such sites. While there are presently no statutory or regulatory restrictions on payment processing by such operators, or that constitute ISP blocking, blacklisting or currency restrictions, the Province of Quebec passed legislation that would, when in force, require internet service providers to block Quebec residents from accessing private online gaming sites.
The Quebec legislation is suspended pending review by the courts. Provincial governments are allowed to provide any form of terminal or machine-based gaming that they choose.
Therefore, all such gaming is "permitted" by law. For policy reasons, there are varying restrictions from province to province with respect to the nature of the games and their locations within the applicable jurisdiction. For example, VLTs are provided to the public by provincial lottery corporations in all provinces other than British Columbia and Ontario.
There are no slot machines available in two of the three territories Nunavut and Northwest Territories , while they are available in Yukon.
Fixed-odds betting terminals "FOBTs" have not appeared in Canada, although it would be legal for a provincial lottery corporation to provide FOBTs to residents of their jurisdiction. Private companies are prohibited from operating any type of gambling machine anywhere in Canada except pursuant to a registration issued by a provincial regulator. Breaches of the federal Code are a matter of criminal rather than civil law and thus the ambit of liability is, in practice, quite narrow.
While the Code is drafted broadly, Canadian courts have exercised their discretion under the principles of statutory interpretation to ensure that such sections are read narrowly, given that they are penal in nature. For example, while section of the Code states that everyone who "keeps a common gaming house or a common betting house" is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for up to two years, in practice, courts particularly in the last few decades have gone to some pains to parse this section and the underlying definitions to preclude conviction in all but the clearest of cases.
On the other hand, the courts do not appear to be as concerned by a broad application of section 2 which provides that every person found without lawful excuse in a common gaming house or common betting house is guilty of a summary conviction offence.
As summary conviction offences are the most minor offences in the Code and typically result in a small fine, courts are willing to convict individuals who are caught in sweeps of illegal sports betting events and large poker operations.
The Code makes it possible for directors, officers and senior management to be charged and convicted of a criminal offence with respect to the activities of their corporation pursuant to the sections of the Code concerning aiding and abetting and parties to an offence sections 21, 22, Breaches of provincial gambling legislation involve, almost by definition, breaches of the requirement to obtain a registration for the supply of gaming services and to comply with the regulations concerning such activity.
The service supplier registered or unregistered, as the case may be is liable, as well as the directors and officers in some cases. For example, section 46 3 of the Ontario Gaming Control Act makes it an offence for any director or officer of a corporation to cause, authorise, permit, or participate or acquiesce in the commission by the corporation of a wide range of offences under the Act. In practice, culpability does not typically flow to individuals if the service was being supplied by a corporation unless there is egregious conduct involved.
Prosecution of gaming offences is not common, primarily because of the monopolistic nature of the industry and the resulting lack of private operators. As the legislation governing gaming at the top level is criminal, most prosecutions will be criminal. Provincially, prosecutions are administrative for the most part.
While there are no reported cases in which Canada has attempted to extradite an individual from another country in order to face gambling charges in Canada, Canada has agreed to extradite Canadians to the U. There are no reported cases in which a Canadian court has chosen to take jurisdiction over a case involving gambling activities that took place outside of Canada, or over cases involving gambling services provided to Canadians by persons located outside of Canada. If the debt is incurred in a legally operated gambling facility, such debts are considered a form of consumer debt and are treated accordingly.
However, if the gambling debt is incurred in the course of illegal or private gambling, provincial gaming laws prohibit the use of civil proceedings to collect such debts. As an example, section On May 18, , the National Assembly of Quebec passed its budget into law pursuant to an omnibus act Loi concernant principalement la mise en oeuvre de certaines dispositions du discours du budget du 26 mars , L. Section 12 of the Budget Act amended Quebec's consumer protection act namely La Loi sur la protection du consommateur to put into place a regime whereby internet service providers "ISPs" would be required to block Quebec residents from accessing illegal internet gaming sites.
While the consumer protection statute has been amended, the amendment itself is not yet in force. On July 27, , the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association on behalf of its ISP members filed a motion in the Quebec Superior Court requesting that the court find the ISP-blocking provisions to be invalid, primarily on the basis that they are unconstitutional.