Windsor is just across the river, yet Detroit residents are unable to gamble online like Canadians. Casino and sports gambling are some of the most popular entertainments in the 21st century. However, the legality of online and land-based casino betting can be complex depending on your country of residence. Each country will have its own laws regarding what is legal and what is not. As such, it is good for the players and bettors to familiarize themselves with the gambling laws before they can unknowingly land themselves in trouble.
When it comes to the gambling laws in Canada and the US, there is a significant difference between the two. To understand why Canadians are allowed to gamble online while the Americans can’t, we will need to look at the laws that allow other countries to play.
Online Gambling in the United States
The United States does not allow any form of online casino gambling except in three jurisdictions, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Online poker is allowed in Nevada and online sportsbooks are allowed in 6 states. The major form of gambling allowed is done at land-based casinos in most other states.
Michigan Sports Betting and Online Gambling Law
In October, the Michigan House attempted to pass a 10-bill package that will allow sports betting and online gambling in the state. The bill still needs to be approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who still has concerns over the new law's impact on iLottery revenue and the School Aid Fund. The law would allow Detroit area casinos to offer online gambling and regulate and tax online sports betting, including fantasy sports sites FanDual and DraftKing.
The current push is to increase the tax rates these online operators would have to pay to make up for the potential losses from the Michigan Lottery and land-based casinos, both of which pay a higher tax rate. Gov. Rich Snyder vetoed a similar bill last year due to the same concerns.
Gambling Laws in Canada
When it comes to land-based casino laws in Canada, the history dates back to many decades. However, in 1970, radical changes to the gambling laws relaxed things to a great extent and Canadians could enjoy gambling. The changed Criminal Code that previously dictated casino laws, made way for individual states to license and control the gambling activities within their regions. This saw the rise of more land-based casinos across the country and many states began operating their own lotteries.
When it comes to online gambling laws things are a bit different. While the laws regarding land-based gambling are cut and dry, those pertaining to online gambling are a bit murky. Some provinces operate their own online casinos and many of the sports betting outlets ran by the government allow players to bet online. But this is not what makes is complicated or illegal for that matter.
What is illegal is providing sports betting or online casino betting service that is not regulated by the Canadian government—the laws surrounding this clause are clear. But what is not clear is the law relating to online casinos in Canada which are established and operated abroad but accept Canadian players. However, there are no laws that restrict Canadians from betting on offshore sites.
The online gambling laws in Canada are a lot more relaxed compared to the United States. Different provinces in Canada have their own operated online casinos that encourage their citizens to bet online. When it comes to sports betting operated by the government allows gamers to place bets online. Online gambling is fully supported and regulated by the government.
The gambling laws of many more states are changing with many proposed bills on the table. It is only a matter of time until the US catches up with Canada on the online gambling front.