Thanks to John Gregory for pointing out that a private member’s bill was introduced yesterday into the Ontario legislature that seeks to prohibit advertising of unregulated Internet gambling. If enacted, the Bill C-60 would amend the Consumer Protection Act by adding the following provision:
"No person shall print, publish, distribute, broadcast or telecast an advertisement or representation that includes an Internet gaming business website address unless the person believes in good faith that the Internet gaming business has been licensed or otherwise granted permission to operate in Ontario or Canada by the appropriate authority and is operated in accordance with the applicable laws of Ontario and Canada."
The bill defines an Internet gaming business as:
"a business that offers to accept wagers or bets over the Internet on any game of chance or mixed skill and chance or on any contingency or event that is to take place inside or outside of Canada and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a business that offers to accept wagers or bets over the Internet relating to a casino game, card game, horse race, fight, match or sport;"
Oddly, business website address is defined as "a URL or other standardized address name layout that allows an Internet user to locate an Internet gaming business on the World Wide Web, and includes any company or trade name that would constitute a valid URL of an Internet gaming business with the addition of one or more standard URL components, such as a server prefix, a domain suffix or extension or a country code"
This makes little sense to me since it suggests that any word – even without a domain extension – that leads to a gambling website would still be treated as a website address under the legislation. Moreover, there are lots of sites that allow Internet users to locate an Internet gaming business on the World Wide Web. Google, Yahoo, and MSN come to mind.