Europe-based online gambling giant Betfair has suddenly announced its impending departure from the Canadian markets in an e-mail sent out to existing members a few days ago. The message states that any remaining Sportsbook bets that were placed on the site will be cancelled, the website will be taken down, and all other content will be blocked from usage by Canadian citizens. This announcement came with little warning beforehand and stands out as a shock to the gambling community as yet another establishment to pull its content from the country of Canada.

Similar exits from the Canadian gambling industry were made by Matchbook and Ladbrokes last year, occurring in July 2014 and September 2014 respectively. Following this trend, Betfair has advised its Canadian members to withdraw any remaining funds before the official date of January 14th, 2016, when services will no longer be available. Any remaining balances after this date will have to be settled with Betfair’s customer service, which is bound to cause a massive amount of problems due to the high volume of memberships from Canada. Betfair has planned a merger with Paddy Power, an Irish betting establishment that had previously removed itself from the market within Canada and seems to be a main reason behind this new exit.

These signs of trouble may have to do with pressure from Canadian governing bodies regarding online betting resources from outside providers. Much legislation related to the free and fair use of online gambling sites has failed to pass through and be accepted as law, which results in difficulty for casinos to operate in the country and its provinces. The prime example is Quebec, where the government is attempting to enforce a ban on third party gambling sites in an effort to boost revenue for its own lottery. However, the constitutionality behind the measure is questionable at the very least and will have a hard time picking up steam due to partisan shifts in the Canadian government.

Betfair’s campaign for marketing its products and services to Canadian members came to a halt in the beginning of 2013, though it still operated and offered online gambling to everyone during this time. This could be due in part to the fact that Betfair did not have a very strong economic presence in Canada during the time that it was operational there. The Canadian government’s refusal to evolve in terms of its gambling laws and a low market for such services have proven to be a combination that Betfair does not want a part of any longer.

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Since the creation of online gambling a couple of decades ago, the industry has paired with the convenience and features of internet technology to quickly become an ideal source for entertainment. Players who would rather not spend a considerable amount of money on travel expenses and lodging have found an alternative in online slots and other games that they can easily enjoy at home. With that being said, investors are still somewhat wary in regards to the online gambling industry based on the performance of the past few years. However, projections show that due to strong presence of quality sites coming to the forefront, the year of 2016 can show some positive results of the ever-increasing shift from traditional gambling to online gambling.

In Canada alone, the governing bodies of each province have a sufficient amount of leeway as it relates to allowing the use of online slots and gambling sites for entertainment. Major regions such as Ontario and Quebec have taken advantage of these liberties, letting their citizens use online casinos as an alternative to travelling to land-based establishments. Additionally, certain provincial governments have established their own online gambling sites, which include popular card games, sports betting, and a direct link to the local lotteries. Though legislation was proposed a few months ago to regulate the type of online gaming that is available, it is doubtful that this bill would come to fruition, leaving the country of Canada with ultimate freedom in choosing a source for games.

Another aspect to look at that will directly affect the future of online slots and other gambling in Canada is the newly elected Canadian prime minster Justin Trudeau. Being a member of the Liberal party and representing a major victory by said party, Trudeau is the sign of sweeping changes coming to regulation as it relates to the entire nation. Based on Liberal party influences on the provincial level, history would show that online gambling will get a boost from lax laws and regulations set forth by politicians. What’s more is that the government-owned gambling sites have been mostly underwhelming in their generated revenue, as players want more diversity and quality from the types of gaming they are searching for. These factors point to a strong future for the business that will be conducted by private online casinos.

Canada has become a forerunner in the gambling industry because of the large demographic that advocates casino entertainment and the current laws of the nation that allow such businesses to prosper. If these establishments can continue to grow, they will make Canada not only a prime destination for online gambling, but also a major source for exporting such entertainment to other countries around the world. It is safe to predict that 2016 will start showing signs of this expanded growth, which will be great news for investors and companies alike that seek to usher in the next wave of convenient online casino gaming. Only time will tell, but things are starting to look on an upward trend as new life comes to the progressive gambling industry.

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Surrey, BC unveiled an upgraded and renovated design to the establishment formerly known as Fraser Downs Racetrack Casino. Now called Elements Casino, the venue opened to the general public on December 17th, 2015 after undergoing a multi-million-dollar upgrade. This follows a VIP party hosted by the casino that presented some of the new aspects of the building to select guests. Other than the VIP’s and a Christmas party hosted for the company, the new look will be a first for every visitor. However, the slot games section of the casino was opening slightly earlier in the month before everything else. This updated layout is reportedly an incredible improvement to the building that spans a total of 56,000 square feet.

Games featured at Elements Casino have received a facelift, with a handful of new additions joining the others on the floor. About a dozen new tables were added for games, including roulette and blackjack. The tables and other aspects of the floor were also reorganized with the goal of showcasing a better flow to the overall layout of the games. This same concept was applied to the slot games so that customers can have a more organic experience when they walk through the casino to enjoy the entertainment.

The improvements to the casino also include the only buffet in the city of Surrey that is open and operates seven days a week. Called Diamond Buffet, this restaurant is conveniently located near a main entrance of the casino and works to serve the needs of many different guests. Another food establishment named Foodies has been added to the casino as well. This restaurant has more of a fast food feel to it, and is specifically designed for players who want to be in and out quickly with their purchases.

Perhaps one of the more exciting additions happening at Elements Casino is the inclusion of a new multi-purpose entertainment venue. The venue is known as Escape, and the casino plans to have at least two musical acts performing there during the course of the week. This area will fit as many as 300 people, and can be rented out for other special events when it is not being used otherwise. There will also be a smaller lounge open to a capacity of 60 visitors that is poised to feature smaller acoustic acts and solo artists.

It’s exciting to know that casino entertainment is alive and well in Surrey. The casino offered a press release to various media outlets that established its new mission statement. Elements Casino aims to offer more diverse gaming options for all visitors, as well as access to new venues, food choices, and the long-standing staple of horse racing. If the concept art and photographs are any indication of the upgrades, the new casino design looks to make waves in the gambling industry. As the holidays approach right around the corner, Elements Casino has reopened just in time as a primary choice for gamers looking for some fun with their time off.

 

 

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The province of Quebec has proposed new legislation that, if enacted, would ban internet service providers from offering certain content through their access. Not surprisingly, this list of content would include various online gambling sites that have not been authorized by Quebec’s government. The government has publicly stated that their own gambling services have fallen short of expectations, and new means for providing these services would generate millions of dollars in revenue. Though the bill has not been officially accepted, it poses a serious obstacle for online slots casinos and other establishments that currently provide their internet-based services to consumers within the province.

First and foremost, I am an advocate of freedom of information. It ties in to the pursuit of knowledge as it relates to improving your life and the lives of others. Additionally, the internet has and always should be a wide-open platform with which individuals can share ideas with each other. There is no telling the number of successful business stories that have come about as a result of the exchange of information through the medium of the internet. Though this initial bill may appear fairly innocuous, it threatens to open the door for a precedent that will influence censorship in the future of information technology.

Another thing that comes to mind is how badly the government really needs a piece of every pie. Due to the fact that Quebec’s governing body has an online gambling service that fails to live up to projected statistics, this new attempt to butt in as the middleman has the same stench as any other nefarious activity. Of course, it’s legal if the government makes it legal, right? Individuals who like the freedom of choice in online slots casinos and other establishments for gambling entertainment where they spend their hard-earned money should be seriously concerned that a foundation for censorship is even being considered for application.

Fortunately, civil liberty unions and other interest groups have been successful in getting these bills shot down. In the United States alone between the years 2005 and 2012, a total of five attempts were made to pass bills that would contain provisions regarding net neutrality. All of these attempts have failed. Opponents of these bills have stated that any type of regulation on the internet sets the dangerous precedent for even more restrictive regulation. For now, citizens of Quebec can enjoy the content that they prefer. It seems like a long shot that any bill of the sort would pass in the near future. However, it would undoubtedly be a snowball effect that cannot be allowed to get the legislative nudge down the mountain.

Credit to Toronto Star for getting me riled up. The source news article can be viewed here:

http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/11/30/quebecs-online-gambling-law-threatens-canadas-open-internet-geist.html

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