Online Gambling: Risky and Illegal

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Online Gambling: Risky and Illegal

Did you know that online gambling is risky and illegal? line are illegal in Canada unless supervised or operated by a province, such as Loto-Quebec games. They are more and more numerous and can be very devastating.

Online games of chance and money have audio and visual characteristics that make them very attractive to young people.

Musician from Sherbrooke, Quebec, Mathieu Longpré never thought he would become a compulsive gambler. Slot machines, notoriously addictive, managed to lose him nearly $100,000. Today he faces another challenge: resisting online gambling that bombards us with advertisements.

“I'm on the right track, but I'm bothered by the ads that come on TV all the time. They induce the world into an addiction that is exceedingly devastating. »

— Mathieu Longpré

The games that are advertised on TV are not illegal in themselves, since they are free games whose online addresses end in . net. What the private operators want is to bring you to their .com sites, which group games where you have to wager money. This is where it becomes illegal.

Mathieu Longpré is distracted by online casino ads on television.

Mathieu can play anywhere, sitting in front of his computer or lying in bed, with his phone. It has access to almost 1000 online gaming sites. The proliferation of these sites that market and promote gambling is of particular concern to Sylvia Kairouz, who heads the Research Chair in the Study of Gambling at Concordia University. Twenty years ago, she said, only 0.2% of Quebec's population gambled online. Today we hit 11%.

“You see games that are so visual and aural. There are still questions to be asked about the nature of these games, which are very attractive to young people. »

— Sylvia Kairouz

All online gambling sites are illegal in Canada, unless they are supervised or operated by a province, such as those of Loto-Québec . Specialists like Sylvia Kairouz recognize that it is difficult to crack down on these illegal sites, especially since most of them come from outside Canada.

“We must legalize with licenses, properly supervise, monitor and possibly sanction. »

— Sylvia Kairouz

Sylvia Kairouz, from the Research Chair in the Study of Gambling at Concordia University, is concerned about the proliferation of online gambling.

C is what Ontario wants to do by issuing, since last April, licenses to private operators who operate online games on its territory.

Contrary to what a group of specialists recommended in 2014, Quebec does not support the idea of ​​establishing a licensing system to legalize online gambling. According to the president of Loto-Québec, Jean-François Bergeron, 60% of Quebec players play on the site of the state corporation. And it is desirable to maintain a single showcase to ensure that marketing is done responsibly.

Outgoing Finance Minister Éric Girard, who is responsible for Loto -Quebec, gives him reason.

“Loto-Québec takes its place with legal and responsible gambling. Then, we study our legal remedies. Third, I call on businesses and citizens to use sites that are 100% legal, 100% responsible. »

— Éric Girard

Sylvia Kairouz believes that too many Quebecers still gamble on the market considered illegal. Loto-Québec is trying to bring them back to the only legal site, but, according to it, that cannot work and the population is not being adequately protected.

And the people who gamble on illegal sites need protection. The invoicehas received several complaints from players who are having trouble getting their winnings paid out on different gaming sites. Ginette Fortier, for example, had to spend a lot of time and incredible effort to recover the $75,000 her brother-in-law won on the Casino Grand Mondial site last January.

“It's time, energy, not everyone would want to do it. I'm sure a lot of people give up.

— Ginette Fortier

Thanks to her many efforts, her brother-in-law received his final payment last month.

The report by Yvan Lamontagne and Claude Laflamme is broadcast on La facture on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on ICI Télé.

The Gambling: help and referral service is available 24 hours a day by phone at 1 800 461-0140 and chat via its site

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