10/27/2006 12:00AM

Ontario bill targets Internet sites


Ontario legislation that would prohibit unlicensed and unregulated Internet gaming sites from advertising or serving as sponsors was heard by lawmakers on Thursday. Government services minister Gerry Phillips introduced the proposed changes to the Customer Protection and Service Modernization Act on Oct. 19.

To be passed into law, the measures must be debated and voted on by the legislature, a process that ministry spokesman Paul de Zara estimated would take at least two months.

The Woodbine Entertainment Group, which hosts a licensed website including online account wagering, supports the proposed legislation.

"It is illegal already to advertise an illegal activity," said Jane Holmes, vice president of corporate affairs for the Woodbine Entertainment Group. "Unfortunately, there hasn't been any enforcement of the laws with regard to some Internet gambling.

"What this act does is put the onus on the media to ensure that any advertisements they take from online gambling sites are licensed by either the federal government or the provincial government."