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Friday, April 24, 2015 10:15 PM

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One of the biggest issues gripping the prospective new presidents of the United States this election season is that of the Restoration of the Wire Act. The act, which would be an update to the Federal Wire Act of 1961, would seek to actively end all online gambling in the United States.

It’s a move that’s been backed by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and is particularly interesting given just how limited online gambling is in the United States at the moment, compared to how well the industry is doing in Canada, particularly, Toronto.  

Online gambling, or iGaming, has been a prominent business in Toronto ever since its inception just over a decade ago. It involves accessing sites which give players the chance to play online versions of popular casino games from table games such as poker to online slots. Many sites offer players special offers and free bets or spins, while others focus on another growing sector: sports betting.

Today, the business makes around $50 to $75 million for the government annually, with many of these funds coming from established companies in the Toronto region. It is for this reason that many other areas of Canada are now looking to move towards regulated online gambling – for example, there were only four months between a provincial gambling regulator issuing a request for proposals in Ontario and their sites going live.

Similarly, Alberta’s gaming commission asked vendors for proposals to run government-regulated online gaming back in February. The move could be completed as soon as this month. By comparison, it seems the United States is sitting on what could be a hugely lucrative opportunity, particularly if they choose to pass the Restoration of the Wire Act.

They only need to look over at Europe as an example of how profitable regulated online gambling can be – for example, Uptown Aces welcomes players from around the world thanks to its variety of payment methods. Today’s online gambling sites are becoming more innovative than ever, re-creating the land-based casino experience and taking it one step further with interactive games that can be enjoyed by anyone over the legal age.

Gambling is hugely popular amongst Canadians, with 75 per cent of adult gamers gambling last year alone. It is of no surprise, then, that the industry should be shifting towards a more digital approach, akin to the music and photography industries before it. The future looks bright for iGaming in Canada, and it’s certainly something which the United States could learn from. 

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