How The Canadian Government Reguletes Gambling?
The extremely small number of individuals (1%) who believe that First Nations should operate gambling is also of note. The issue of First Nations gambling will be addressed in a later chapter. However, it should be pointed out at this time that when asked to directly comment on whether First Nations gambling should be permitted, the results were significantly more favourable.
Beliefs regarding who should operate gambling vary across the regions, although provincial governments and charities are the top two choices throughout Canada. Quebec, with fewer current charitable gambling opportunities, is the weakest supporter of charities as operators (13%). In British Columbia, where government involvement in gambling has resulted in several high profile political scandals, support for the provincial government operating gambling (25%) is nearly equal to that of charity-run gambling (23%). Surprisingly, the Prairie region does not indicate a preference for charity-run gambling despite the charitable gambling model in Alberta (the most populous province in the region).
GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF GAMBLING
In addition to operating most forms of gambling, provincial governments are responsible for the regulation of gambling. These regulations include restrictions on what games are available, who can gamble and when, the payout rates, and who can operate gambling. The survey measured the overall attitudes of Canadians toward governments’ regulatory role in controlling gambling by asking whether respondents would like to see more restrictions, less restrictions or about the same level of restrictions on gambling in their province.
A significant number of respondents (43%) indicate that their governments should be doing more to restrict gambling in their province, while 47% are satisfied with the current level of restriction. Only 7% of respondents believe that there are too many restrictions on gambling.
Because each province sets its own regulations, regional variations could be anticipated. In every region except Ontario, a plurality of respondents favours an increase in gambling restriction. In the Atlantic region, 60% of respondents indicate that they would prefer more restrictions on gambling, twice as many as those who would like to see the same level of restriction (30%). These results reflect an overall attitude of gambling tolerance in Ontario and an anti-gambling sentiment in the Atlantic region, one that permeates the survey results.
Not surprisingly, BC respondents were most favourable toward reduced restrictions, with 12% supporting this option. BC has CanadaÕs most restrictive gambling policy, as unlike many other provinces, the BC government has not introduced video lottery or large destination casinos.