The National, a Canadian newscast on the CBC, focused on Internet gambling last night. The theme of the program: “Playing games online is serious business, and in Canada, it’s also illegal.”
Reporter Sasa Petricic interviewed Doug Lewis, a former Canadian Justice Minister who now runs online casinos. Lewis said his sites are legal because they are based in Antigua and filter out Canadians. Petricic countered that he registered and placed a wager at one of Lewis’s sites using a Canadian address.
“In Canada there’s nothing gray about it. It’s illegal,” said Larry Moody, head of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Illegal Games Unit. According to the broadcast, Canada’s criminal code only allows one group to run a gambling business using computers: provincial governments. And so far none have jumped at the opportunity.
The segment briefly mentioned Canadian software manufacturer CryptoLogic, and Kahnawake, a Mohawk reservation near Montreal that issues licenses to Internet casinos and hosts the casinos on their servers.
The 3-minute piece concluded with a 19-year-old Montreal woman who said she lost $20,000 at a land-based casino in Montreal and “dreads the day it all comes to her on the Internet.”