Internet, Quebec, Quebec Court of Appeal, Rulings
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Quebec’s law that blocks unauthorized gaming sites ruled unconstitutional

A Quebec legislative provision that compelled Internet service providers to block unauthorized gaming websites has been found unconstitutional by the Quebec Court of Appeal as it infringes on areas of exclusive federal jurisdiction.

Following in the footsteps of several European nations, including Cyprus, Denmark and Romania, the Quebec government amended the Consumer Protection Act (Act) in 2016 via an omnibus budget bill to introduce a provision that obliged Internet service providers (ISPs) to implement blocking measures to prohibit Quebec residents from accessing unauthorized gambling websites. The blacklist would be drawn up by Loto-Québec, the government agency that operates and develops lotteries in the province. Internet service providers that failed to comply faced steep fines — up to $100,000 and twice that amount for subsequent offences.

“From a commercial perspective it has had mixed results,” remarked gaming lawyer Michael Lipton of Dickinson Wright LLP. “Some jurisdictions have tried it; others have backed away from it.”

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This story was originally published in The Lawyer’s Daily.

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