Regulate gambling or lose the income

08 October 2006

Newspaper

THE NATIONAL POST
Online betting is a grey area of law with huge profits

Diane Francis, Financial Post
Published: Saturday, October 07, 2006

The world’s largest computer facilities for online gaming are located in Canada and are nicknamed MIT.

This doesn’t stand for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: It stands for the Mohawk Institute of Technology.

That is because this gigantic “server park” — which drives many of the online gambling sites — is inside the Mohawk First Nations Reserve, also known as Akwesasne, which straddles the borders of Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

“It operates just like the server parks in Costa Rica or Belize,” said William Rutsey, president of the Canadian Gaming Association, which represents those gambling enterprises in Canada that are legally licensed.

The Americans are cracking down on Internet gambling, but nothing is being done in Canada.

This is because gambling is a provincial matter and most governments and their gaming partners may not be aware of the huge growth of the business. Their inaction is combined with governmental fear of enforcing laws on any First Nations Reserve.

So the beat goes on at MIT and elsewhere, with many Canadian players involved.

Meanwhile, the United States has launched a crackdown and prohibition against online gambling. Stocks of Internet gambling companies around the world tumbled after Congress passed a law banning U.S. banks from financing online bets.

THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT THE NATIONAL POST