The Canadian Gaming Associations Association (CGAA) says the number of people using online gambling is on the rise, and says it’s time for the industry to change.
The group says people who gamble online are increasingly dependent on a mobile device, and the technology needs to change to protect people from addiction.
The CGAA is a Canadian lobby group representing gaming companies, gaming businesses, operators and other stakeholders.
A statement released Friday by the group says the industry needs to be transparent about how it is managing the risk of addiction, and to ensure that people are not put at risk.
“There’s an epidemic of gambling addiction in this country,” said Rob Carrick, CGAA president and CEO.
“It’s not just a matter of gaming.
It’s a matter about addiction.”
More than 100,000 people in Canada use online gambling, according to data compiled by the Canadian Association of Internet Gaming Licenses (CAGLI).
About 40 per cent of them use the service in a province or territory, while about 10 per cent use it in Canada as a whole.
The number of users has grown significantly over the past five years, according the association.
A growing proportion of those people who used the service are from the age of 20 to 39.
A survey last year by the U.K.-based research firm Nielsen found that 27 per cent were addicted to online gambling.
In 2015, about 1.1 million Canadians used online gambling in the first quarter of 2018, up from 1.0 million the previous quarter.
“We need to make sure that the industry is more transparent, that it is more responsible, and that it’s able to provide consumers with information and services to support them,” said Carrick.
The association has called for gaming companies to implement the new online gambling rules that came into effect on Jan. 1.
Those rules require casinos to post a public notice on their websites and on their mobile applications that they will not be allowed to offer gambling services.
The notice will also require the operators to report the number and type of gambling games they offer, and what games they do offer, such as slot machines.
Gaming companies must also notify the CGAA of any change in the number or type of games they provide.
The rules also include requirements for gamblers to have a credit card and a bank account.
The government of Canada has promised to review the rules to see if they go far enough.
But the rules aren’t likely to be final until the fall.
There are no new gambling laws in place for 2018.
But as of Oct. 31, the government’s online gambling task force was already studying the issue, according of the task force’s interim report.
The task force, which includes former federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay, is looking into how the rules are enforced and if they are working as intended.
The interim report, which was obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act, suggests the rules could be tightened to give gamblers a better chance of getting caught.
The report recommends more stringent reporting requirements for online gaming operators, as well as a new system for gamemasters to report online gambling addiction.
However, it also recommends that the taskforce look at whether to make it easier for gamamasters to get back into business, and how to improve the quality of their services.
Some industry members are already expressing concern about the new rules.
In response to the task group’s interim recommendations, the Canadian Gaming Institute (CGI), an industry association, said in a statement that it “does not see a compelling need to revisit the existing laws.”
“While the regulations are not in place to address the issue of addiction to online gaming, we believe it is important to be proactive and take steps to ensure the gaming industry can continue to meet the health and safety needs of Canadians,” said the statement from the CGIA.
“These changes will allow the industry and the Canadian public to have greater confidence in the safety and health of online gambling.”
The CGIA said it is working with provinces, the federal government and local government to help develop better rules for the online gaming industry.