Taking a chance on it: the legal regulation of gambling
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AbstractGambling bears a stigma associated with earning money merely by playing games (hence the term gaming, which was decided in Bailey v. McDuffee (1878) to be synonymous with gambling) as compared to earning it by respectable means. Religions frown on gambling. In the Jewish Talmud, gamblers are ineligible to serve as judges or witnesses. Christianity s views on work, stewardship, and love of neighbour also generally rule out gambling activity. In Alberta, new gambling regulations came into force in July 1996. The new Gaming and Liquor Act combines the former Interprovincial Lottery Act and the Liquor Act. Under the new Act, a Board is set up to oversee licensing of liquor and gambling establishments. The objective was to streamline the liquor rules and expand lottery supervision. Under the Act, inspectors can investigate liquor and gambling establishments, and video lottery machines. The powers of the Commission are now clearly outlined, including its objective to generate revenue for the Government of Alberta. A charity or any other person dedicating the proceeds of the gaming to charitable or religious purpose may obtain a gaming licence (section 20). These statutes do not make betting a criminal offence; they do not prescribe fines or imprisonment for those who make bets. The Criminal Code does, however, make certain betting activities illegal. In 1967-68, the Criminal Code was amended allowing for the operation and licensing of lotteries and gambling by the provinces and the federal government. In 1985, the provinces were given exclusive jurisdiction to regulate gaming activities. The Criminal Code of Canada exempts individual betting from being illegal, but renders illegal operating or being found in common gaming houses (s. 201), and common betting houses .
Article deposited after permission was granted by the editor of LawNow magazine, 06/28/2010.