Responsible Gambling Initiatives: Canada's Approach and Its Impact on Online Casinos Industry

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Dec/21/2023

With the expansion of internet technology, access to casino gambling is at an all-time high and continues to grow remarkably. Not only has this exponential market growth brought about more investment into Canada’s iGaming industry, it has resulted in growing concerns from stakeholders over the potential negative impact gambling could have on individuals and the society in general.

 

With responsible gambling now being a vital component for measuring the overall success of online casino gambling, it has become more important than ever for regulators to collaborate with the Canadian government and gambling companies to bring about more awareness and education about problem gambling. It is in this light that this article seeks to explore the various measures and approaches taken by the Canadian government in promoting responsible gambling and the impact it has on the online casino industry.

The Current Landscape of Responsible Gambling in Canada

The iGaming industry exists entirely in a digital space that is vast, with a reach that goes far and wide. A recent survey taken by Canadians who were asked to agree or disagree with statements about gambling, discovered that 73% of the participants reported that gambling-related problems had increased within their province. Furthermore, at least 83% of Canadian respondents indicate that it is up to each individual to control their gambling habits.

 

Going by information from this survey, it is clear that the greatest responsibility for preventing the development of gambling problems lies with individuals. Government and regulatory bodies are however not resting on their oars as they continuously ensure that online casinos in Canada key into policies, frameworks, and practices that help to promote responsible gambling among casino enthusiasts. Although Canada’s federal Criminal Code (the “Code”) is the primary statute that governs all gambling activity in the country, the operation of online casinos are managed by provincial governments which are vested with the authority to pass the legislation regulating all online gaming activity within their respective jurisdictions.

 

On top review websites like https://casinorix.com/ca/, casino lovers will find relevant information about trusted online casinos operating within the appropriate legislative framework in Canada. Below are some of policies, legislative developments, and regulations, put in place to ensure responsible gambling practices:

 

  • Education and awareness programs
  • Responsible marketing and advertisement of online casinos
  • Strict age and identity verification processes for all Canadian players
  • Easy accessibility to resources for players dealing with gambling issues
  • Implementation of on-site targeted programs that promote responsible internet gaming such as self-exclusion, time limits, etc.

Government and Industry Collaborations

In furthering efforts to create and regulate the operation of online casinos in Canada, each province has instituted its own regulations in collaboration with the local iGaming industry. These provincial regulatory bodies have a dedicated government website where residents can get relevant, accurate and up-to-date information about online gambling regulations and responsible gambling initiatives within their provinces. Below is a list of provincial regulators for online casino gambling in Canada:

 

  • Ontario: Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
  • Alberta: Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission
  • Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
  • British Columbia: BCLC
  • Quebec: Loto-Quebec
  • Manitoba: Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries
  • Atlantic Provinces: Atlantic Lottery Corporation

 

As a requirement for the continued legal operation of iGaming platforms in Canada, online casinos are mandated to register and acquire licenses from any of the regulators that provide oversight for the province they wish to operate in. A recent study revealed that collaborations between industry stakeholders and support organizations have brought about a 20% increase in players seeking help with gambling problems. Some of the existing campaigns and partnerships promoting the practice of responsible gambling are:

 

  • The Canadian Responsible Gambling Association (CRGA), with provincial gambling operators in Canada as participating members
  • The Partnership, formerly called the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling (CPRG) – a collaboration of non-profit organizations, gaming providers, abd regulators
  • The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) – an independent non-profit organization focused on the prevention of problem gambling in Canada

Online Casinos' Role in Responsible Gaming

With appropriate regulatory frameworks in place, much is expected of the online casinos themselves as it pertains to compliance. This section explores some proactive measures being undertaken by online casinos to promote responsible gambling among Canadians:

Age identification and verification

A review of data obtained from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Gambling Rapid Response, indicates that at least 2% of Canadians aged 15 and older are at moderate-to-severe risk of developing problems associated with gambling. To ensure a safe and responsible gambling environment, Canadian online casinos implement strict identity verification processes in compliance with laid down guidelines. This is done in various ways that include requesting for government-issued IDs, biometric identification, or requesting financial/banking information.

Self-exclusion tools

Licensed and regulated online casinos in Canada provide tools that offer self-exclusion for a set period of time. This proactive approach encourages players to take a step back in accordance with the principles of moderation when it comes to responsible gambling.

Limits on spending

By incorporating payment limits on an online casino platform, players can set daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits to prevent excessive spending. This strategic responsible gambling tool ensures that each player adheres strictly to their budgets by helping to manage the bankroll instead of chasing losses.

Reality checks

Duly registered and licensed platforms often incorporate pop-up reminders to notify players of the time spent during each gambling session. These measures are in place to assess the level of engagement by suggesting breaks and time-outs.

Impact on the Industry and Players

Responsible gambling (RG) is a vital ingredient that contributes to the overall online gambling experience. Players are positively impacted in ways that help manage personal issues related to problem gambling. The Canadian iGaming  gambling industry has benefited as well through increased community participation, made possible by the initiation of outreach programs, charity events, and collaborations with non-profit organizations

 

There has also been a noticeable boost in the local or regional economy through the implementation of responsible internet gaming practices. With RG initiatives in place, more investments are being attracted into the sector. Relevant studies from experts reveal that by developing research-based messaging that focus on broader legislative changes and more stringent measures to protect individuals, responsible gambling can be more widely accepted.

From improving the general well-being of players and reduction of stress levels to boosting local economies and encouraging community involvement, responsible gambling surely comes with great benefits. There is no doubt that the positive impact of responsible gambling on individuals and society leads to a better and stronger industry. Promoting responsible gambling practices and implementing effective regulations must continue being an ongoing effort to ensure that the future benefits of gambling are maximized.

 

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