13 August 2007

Can A Canadian Bet On Horses Outside Of Canada From Home?

First some humour.

How can a horse lover not love this clip:

H/T Railbird Blog

Now back to reality:

Well at least Woodbine reads the blogs. Too bad they miss the message: YOU DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT THE BETTOR!

Here is what a poster named Woodbine put in the comments of my last post:

There appears to be some confusion surrounding the WEG press release and the corresponding response from Premier Turf Club, so here are the facts.

1. PTC & WEG Sign Contract – PTC pursued and willingly signed a legal simulcast contract to take wagers on Woodbine racing products. The terms of the agreement included the statement, “Under no circumstances is Guest (PTC) permitted to conduct account wagering with Canadian residents.” This is in section 1 of the agreement and in bold lettering to ensure clarity. There is no room for interpretation with this clause and it is clearly not limited to Woodbine product or residents from Ontario. The purpose of this clause is to ensure that WEG does not aid and abet someone breaching the Criminal Code of Canada which clearly states that an entity not licensed in Canada is breaking the law when it accepts or offers to accept a bet from a Canadian resident on a horse race. WEG is therefore obligated to enforce the clause or put its own license in jeopardy.

2. PTC Violates Contract – WEG learned shortly thereafter of other Canadian players wagering through their site and we were able to get the necessary proof. This evidence has been supported further by Canadian customers reporting through these various blogs that they had been betting through PTC. This violation is clearly not a one time mistake and is definitely not a “hub error” as PTC would like you to believe because PTC is the one responsible for setting up the accounts.

3. WEG Terminates Contract – This evidence has proven without a doubt that the contract that PTC signed with us had been breached and we terminated the agreement.

It is unfortunate to learn that there are operators that choose to execute contracts but have no intention to follow them. Simulcast contracts are required for a reason and they clearly did not live up to their commitments. Mr. Ian Meyers of PTC stated in his press release, “While we respect WEG’s decision, we at Premier Turf Club firmly believe in open access of all signals to residents of all countries where internet wagering is permitted. We are naturally quite disappointed that WEG believes all Canadian residents must play only through the Canadian ADW.” This quote clearly demonstrates Mr. Meyer’s lack of understanding of Canadian criminal law as stipulated in point 1.


August 13, 2007 3:51 PM


First off, the Criminal Code only states that it is illegal for an unlicensed company to set up shop inside of Canada, like Starnet did. There is no such ruling that I know of that prevents Canadians from betting with Betfair or any other offshore betting house.
Here is what I dug up on the web regarding Betfair and Canada:

Betfair also offers its services in Canada, where its legal status is somewhat uncertain. The Criminal Code of Canada effectively prohibits private individuals from operating an online gambling website in Canada. The Canadian provinces are permitted to offer sports betting and all provinces do through the Sport Select program, but offering single sports betting (Betfair's forte) is prohibited even to the provinces. On the other hand, an individual placing a bet (even a single sports bet) from within Canada to a foreign website is not violating the Criminal Code. As a result, Betfair's services are considered to be grey market in Canada - no laws are broken when a Canadian bets with Betfair, but the Canadian courts could not likely be used to resolve disputes either. In addition, not all Canadian credit cards can be used to deposit money with Betfair. This is because the credit card departments of some Canadian financial institutions are intertwined with American firms, meaning Betfair cannot be certain of the nationality of the card number.

Secondly, I know I can bet on horse racing in Aruba and Vegas. I've done it, and it was not illegal. And I doubt that Aruba's betting shop is licensed in Canada.

Third point: Phone and computer betting in Canada is still a grey area. Just like international internet betting is by Canadians. But I don't see you calling HPI illegal too, since grey means illegal to you.

I haven't phoned the CPMA yet (613-949-0735), but I know someone who did. He was told that Canadians can bet offshore on horse racing.

So it is clear that you, Woodbine, is either ignorant of the laws, or that you are trying to pretend that what you are doing is not anti-competitive collusive practice.
In my not so humble opinion, you are being dishonest now about why you put the clause that prevents those who get your signal from taking Canadian bettors.

If I am wrong I apologize, but as far as I know from searching the internet and from past readings and experience, the only reason you sign these deals is to try to make it so that Canadians have no choice but to bet through you if they want to bet on horses on the internet.

Woodbine knows without having these collusive deals in place (that I think must be illegal), they will lose a lot of their customers, who want more choice and lower takeouts.

If Woodbine is to have these deals in place to keep their customers, they should give their customers EXACTLY what they could get elsewhere. Or else they are violating consumer's rights.

Woodbine has been rebating for a while now. Crappy rebates (for those Canadians in certain areas, most areas get nada), but rebates just the same. If they had a clue, they would realize that the rebates are generally bet off again, until they disappear in the players account. The same would be true if they upped the rebates/lowered the takeouts, even drastically. The thing is that it would attract back all the offshore money, and give a player a chance to actually win in the long run, and it will most likely bring in new people to gamble by word of mouth.

Horse handicapping is enjoyable, but it takes a lot of time. And Woodbine does not give anyone a chance to win money in the long run. Woodbine treats horse players like they are lottery or slot players. They just don't get it, and they just don't give a rat's ass about the bettor.

The internet changes things. It gives people like me a chance to expose things that are clearly wrong to a large amount of people that count. This includes the dinosaur mentality of most of the track owners when it comes to the bettors. I wrote a piece about having a 10% takeout across the board for all racetracks in North America, and two weeks later, Laurel announced they were trying exactly that.

One more thought. A lot of people compared Woodbine to Bell or the CRTC. First off Bell, is no longer a monopoly, and I don't use their services anymore. I have a choice. When it comes to the CRTC, they try to ensure Canadian content, but they don't stop me from watching American stations, and I don't have to pay a premium to watch them. Also it is ILLEGAL to use an American satellite provider. It is NOT ILLEGAL to bet with an American hub. I just can't because of WEG's underhanded tactics in signing collusive deals that work against the bettor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WEG = Sleazy Lying Bastards