The Difference Between Gambling and Lotto
Gambling is the habitual wagering of something of value or currency on an unpredictable event with an uncertain result, with the main purpose of winning cash or other goods. In its most classic form, gambling takes advantage of a system of chance, in which a set number of outcomes are pre-determined, usually by an external factor such as the sport or stock market. The major problem of gambling is its tendency to produce what is known as ‘adverse financial consequences’. Adverse financial consequences refer to cases where individuals lose money; an individual can lose money through gambling, for example, by losing his job, through having his possessions repossessed or through not being able to pay taxes on his wealth.
There are many reasons why gambling is illegal, most obviously because it promotes conduct that is considered illegal under the law. However, even though gambling activity is illegal, many jurisdictions have allowed it to take place within their jurisdiction, either because it has not yet been considered as illegal in their jurisdiction or the lack of statutory controls over it. Gambling activities, especially online gambling and poker gambling, are usually carried out by persons who are not residents of the jurisdictions in which they participate.
A variety of legislative, social, and economic considerations lead to the relative rarity of gambling law in some countries. In Canada, for example, gambling is often considered to fall under the heading of “entertainment” rather than as a form of commerce. In most provinces, gambling is regulated by provincial consumer protection agencies. Despite the provincial consumer protection agency’s limited ability to intervene in many circumstances, however, the agency is able to regulate certain aspects of the industry. These laws generally impact the amount of profits that individuals may earn from the creation and distribution of gambling products and/or the portion of profits that they must share with other players. They also restrict the times in which individuals may gamble.
In Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General oversees the regulation of all gambling enterprises, including all Canadian offshore gambling sites. In addition to facilitating gambling, the government agency also serves to protect the province’s tax revenues generated from the production and sale of alcohol, gambling products, and alcohol beverages. The provincial gaming control act regulates both indoor and outdoor gambling and the Ontario Lottery Corporation sets the rates for lottery tickets in the province. In addition, the province allows for the introduction of additional gambling devices into the lottery register that can be used in select casinos.
The Canadian Lottery Commission operates in a statutory framework similar to the one in Ontario. According to this framework, gambling is deemed to fall within the province if the player actually wagers money, whether or not he or she pays for the total ticket price or the prize. According to section 206 of the Criminal Code of Canada, an individual who participates in an Ontario lottery program or in any lottery in Canada and receives a payment or winnings will be guilty of gambling if the proceeds are more than the Canadian resident who ordinarily and voluntarily would be entitled to the income or prize but for the conduct described in the section. In addition, in the case of the Federal government, gambling includes the conducting of bingo, racetrack betting, prize drawings, or casino gambling. According to the Department of Justice in the United States, “any place where gambling is sold, held or conducted for the purpose of raising funds for a lottery” is a place where gambling can take place.
Although some may argue that the presence of gambling implies that people have to gamble, this is not true. Anyone can gamble as long as he or she does not participate in a lottery in Canada or participate in a state lottery in the United States and does not receive a payment or prize for doing so. Gambling as it relates to lottery tickets, therefore, pertains to the sales of lottery tickets in Canada and to the sales of lottery games in the United States. Therefore, while some may view gambling as something that only happens in the U.S., the opposite is true. In fact, gambling occurs all over the world and is just a matter of the chance for many individuals.