Dalton Does the Internet

Dear Preemeer McSquinty,

I jest wanted to tell you thanks fer taking over the online gambling bizniss in Ontario. It’s bin such a pain in the arse to drag myself over to one of yer casinos all the time. Now I kin sleep late, gamble in my pajamas and be flat broke before breakfast.

I am real happy to turn over my money to the govermint like this to help build skools and hospitills. I bin feelin’ kinda gilty anyhow fer not payin no taxes fer so long since I bin outta work fer 12 years on accountta braking both legs and not been able to git them mended for 8 years on accountta we ain’t got enuff hospitills.

I hope you hurry up and built that there hospitill tho ‘cuz I aint go no fambly dokter no more and I bin feelin’ mighty poorly fer a few years now.

 Yer Frend,

 Cooter

Like millions of Ontarians, Cooter is happy that the Ontario Government has finally decided to wrest the reins of online gambling out of the hands of hoods and thugs.

“Criminals are stealing nearly 400 million dollars a year from our citizens through online gambling,” says McSquinty. “The Ontario Government could double that in five years,” he added, rubbing his hands together in an anticipatory manner.

Why waste tax dollars on things like education, health care and infrastructure when we could use gambling revenue for that stuff? Lotteries and casinos just aren’t cutting it anymore with their $1.7 billion in annual revenue and I guess taxes are just too difficult to squeeze out of people – especially the people who are supposed to pay most of the taxes.

Besides, taking over online gambling has almost sort of worked out okay for British Columbia. So what if they had to shut down for a while because they were having problems regulating who was playing online? And they think they probably fixed that glitch that allowed people to play with other people’s money.  

And in a few years we can all sit back and laugh at those silly Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre  people who had to charge the British Columbia Lottery Corporation for “breaking the federal Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act more than 1,000 times.” 

Government has a pretty sketchy track record when it comes to regulating itself. So, it kinda makes me wonder why the government wants to be in this sordid, risky business in the first place. Why not just regulate it and let private enterprises run it? Then they can still make oodles of money by collecting a hefty tax like they do with cigarettes and alcohol.

And, they’ll be able to point and shake their fingers self-righteously at those nasty online gambling enterprises when things go sideways – just like they do with cigarettes and alcohol!  🙂

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16 responses to “Dalton Does the Internet

  1. Governments are funny like that. I just read how much money the U.S. government would get if we would go back to the tax on the richest people that we had during Clinton’s administration, but no one in congress wants to do that. They’d rather cut spending on infrastructure (reverting roads to gravel roads) and education (keeping thems fokes stoopid).
    People are weird. ; )

  2. Don’t worry. I have faith in our government.

    As soon as they take over on-line gambling, I’m sure they’ll find a way to make it lose money, and we we taxpayers will have to foot the bill for it.

    Big time.

  3. Geewits- It does seem kind of odd to have a country/province relying so much on gambling revenue to keep it afloat.

    LGS -Well first they have to pay off the big debt, THEN they can buy stuff like horsepitells

    Friar – Then maybe they’ll finally give the prostitution and recreational. Drug business a go

  4. If I were Dalon, the first thing I would do is heavily subsidize the industry. And then sub-contract it out to a foreign company, so that all the revenue goes to them and leaves the province.

    Kinda like what Mike Harris did for managing the Highway 407 Tolls.

    Kinda like what Dalton did with setting up solar and wind-power, with Korea.

  5. Just another way our provincial government has to show us how bad Ontario is doing with its finances… and how useless they are at the time of finding solutions to the problems THEY caused!

    What’s next? Drug dealers and pimps taxation?

  6. We get profoundly mixed messages from government. One the one hand, we are told that we’re all in it together when we have to accept layoffs and pay-cuts, and the paradigm is: ‘there’s this pool of the common weal’. Then in other situations, like this one, it’s suddenly okay to rob Peter to pay Paul – this magically works out somehow, supposedly. So it’s okay to fund a gambling industry and to put out messages of fiscal prudence. They can pay for Gamblers Anonymous with gambling revenue. They can buy expensive weapons, give some to their own troops and sell the rest to Arabs, go destroy all the weapons in a big stupid war, then buy a load of new, more expensive weapons.

  7. It amazes me how much money gambling generates, though.

    Take Vegas, for instance.

    If the goverment decided it would build a Disneyland right in the middle of a God-Forsaken desert and it charged the money to taxpayers, there would be riots and pitchforks and torches on Capitol Hill.

    But if you took the money “voluntarily”, from gambling revenue… you can have pirate ships, pyramids, roller coasters and dancing fountains…no problem.

  8. Interesting thread about regulation. Makes me think deep thoughts. Humans are capable of regulating themselves but some do it better than others. Is it because of the structure set up at the time? Is that why some democracies work better than others? Why can’t we learn from “best practices”more than we do presently? I think one could get an entire degree in this area.

  9. The Cooter letter made my day. LOL 😉

    And it seems that anything McGuinty touches just falls apart, loses money or becomes a waste of tax-payer dollars some how. I have no doubt that on-line gambling, despite the cash-generating concept behind it, will be added to that long list of failures.

  10. Here again is another touch of reality in our day and age.
    I wonder how much money will be spent foolishly on the development of this online gaming? Are they going to actually consult with people or are they going to do what the LCBO has done and given us what we so clearly want? (Large stores that could never be privatized guaranteeing that no one would never actually want to buy one).
    I am going to lay down a bet – a clearly illegal act as I will do it outside of Ontario – that for starters they will go one a cost cutting measure and have the casino programming done offshore – its cheaper you know. Of course the first online casino was designed and programmed by a fellow named Shannon Larrett – a Toronto boy no less!
    Of course the return on the investment will have to be rather low as there has to be some reason why you’d abandon your gambling account at whatever casino you are playing at to play in the highly traceable Ontario market.
    Then again I am sure that the Province will see this as yet another cash cow like the casinos in the falls where as attendance went down they embarked on a series of money generating changes:
    No more free water!
    Parking = $20.00!
    Shitty restaurants serving smaller yet more expensive portions!
    Wine lists populated by foreign wines enjoying a greater markup then even the greediest of restaurateurs would scoff at!

  11. What? Gambling in Casablanca? That can’t be so. What, the mob involved with gambling in BC? That can’t be so. Great posting.

    Jazz sent me in your direction. Thought I would like your blog. I do.

  12. Friar – I don’t know…I don’t think I’d vote for you for Premier. I can’t see this all ending well anyway. But what do I know.

    Mr G. – So they cause some new problems – more gamblers, young kids playing online poker with their parents’ credit cards, laundering drug money for criminals like the BC government. Never a dull moment.

    Jazz – Dollar signs?? Also this is McGuinty’s way of showing that he’s not the nanny-state premier he keeps being accused of being. He’s going to trust us to play nice.

    G – The whole casino, lottery, online gambling thing is basically a “poor tax”. They haven’t been getting enough tax money out of the poor and when the economy is bad there are more poor people, more unemployed = less tax dollars. Holding out the promise of a dream life, the foolish poor people line up in droves to gamble what little they have in hopes of finally being able dig themselves out of the hole of poverty they will otherwise spend the rest of their lives in.

    Frair – It’s a gold mine. Dumb people willing to gamble away their last dollar thinking they’re going to strike it rich and live the high life. And if our government can’t take advantage of its poor, dumb and vulnerable – who can?

    Julia – Are you talking about regulating yourself NOT to gamble? It’s difficult when they do such glitzy advertising campaigns to lure you in – imagine the possibilities/live the dream. If you’re talking about government – they’re great at regulating all sorts of stuff, but really bad at self-regulation. I don’t know why they don’t know this. Everybody who’s ever worked in or with government knows this.

    Chris – Poor old Dalton. He DOES come up with some hare-brained schemes, doesn’t he?

    Lebanowski1728 –They’re doing 18 months of consultations and research. EIGHTEEN MONTHS!! They’re pretty proud of that due diligence. So far they haven’t gotten around to checking out how BC and the Atlantic provinces have screwed up online gambling or even how Ontario is screwing up its other OLG ventures. Ah well, they ain’t getting any of my money.

    Mrwriteon – Hey! Welcome to the blog. I’ve seen you around the blogland campus. As for the online gambling venture, I say hang on…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!