Gaming Union Finds Reasons to Oppose Ontario Online Casinos
Officials in the Canadian province of Ontario say they will bring online casino gambling to the region's lottery gambling by 2012, but leaders of a powerful union are denouncing the plan. Representatives from the Canadian Auto Workers, which coincidentally has organized over 7000 land-based gaming employees, think the concept may put players suffering from problem gambling at risk.
“Internet gaming facilitates serious gambling addictions wherein participants can spend thousands of dollars without ever leaving their homes or coming into contact with another human being,” said CAW President Ken Lewenza in a statement released after Ontario had confirmed its plans, according to the Toronto Star.
Internet experts have testified that technology can make online casinos as secure against compulsive gambling as any land-based venue.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation released estimates that almost $1 billion flows annually from Canadian residents to foreign Internet casino operators without a dime of tax being paid. A government spokesman said online gambling run by the province could be earning as much as $100 million yearly within five years.
British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces have already begun allowing their lotteries to accept online casino gaming, and Manitoba leaders say that province is also considering operating its own Internet gambling sites.
Still, CAW leaders only saw the potential loss of jobs in one area as the issue, while those with less tunnel vision remarked that online jobs would be increasing, as well as the general public welfare once revenues were boosted.
“It could lead to a loss of jobs at a time when the province cannot afford it," stated Lewenza. "This should also be taken into account.”
Ontario is facing a multi-million dollar deficit, with future spending expected to rise sharply.
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