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A scholar sees a common root for antisemitism and racism: ‘Christian supremacy’ 

(JTA) — Magda Teter’s new book, “Christian Supremacy,” begins in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 11, 2017. Hundreds of white nationalist neo-Nazis who ostensibly gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a local park broke into a chant: “Jews will not replace us.”

Other writers and scholars would note how antisemitism shaped white nationalism. But Teter, professor of history and the Shvidler Chair of Judaic Studies at Fordham University, saw something else: how centuries of Christian thought and practice fed the twin evils of antisemitism and racism.

“The ideology espoused by white supremacists in the US and in Europe is rooted in Christian ideas of social and religious hierarchy,” she writes. “These ideas developed, gradually, first in the Mediterranean and Europe in respect to Jews and then in respect to people of color in European colonies and in the US, before returning transformed back to Europe.”

In the book, subtitled “Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism,” she traces this idea from the writings of the early church fathers like Paul the Apostle, though centuries of Catholic and Protestant debates over the status of Jews in Europe, to the hardening of racist attitudes with the rise of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. 

Antisemitic laws and theology, she argues, developed within Christianity a “mental habit” of exclusion and dominance that would eventually be applied to people of color up to and including modern times.

Teter is careful to acknowledge the different forms antisemitism and racism have taken, distinguishing between the Jews’ experience of social and legal exclusion and near annihilation, and the enslavement, displacement and ongoing persecution of Black people. And yet, she writes, “that story began with Christianity’s theological relation with Jews and Judaism.”

Teter is previously the author of Blood Libel: On The Trail of an Antisemitic Myth,” winner of the 2020 National Jewish Book Award. At Fordham, the Catholic university in the Bronx, she is helping assemble what may be the largest repository of artifacts and literature dedicated to the Jewish history of the borough.

We spoke Thursday about how groups like the Proud Boys embrace centuries-old notions of Christian superiority, how “whiteness” became a thing and how she, as a non-Jew raised in Poland, became a Jewish studies scholar.

Our conversation was edited for length and clarity. 

Your book was conceived and written during the COVID lockdown. Where did the idea for the book come from? 

It’s an accidental project. I’ve been teaching the history of antisemitism for years, and I live in Harlem so questions of race and racism are very stark in my daily life. And since I grew up in Poland, and American history was not something we were taught or studied, I’ve never been satisfied with the various explanations for the strength of antisemitism and history of racism. And as I mentioned in my prologue, I watched the Raoul Peck documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” which has a clip with James Baldwin saying that white people have to figure out why they invented the idea of the N-word and must “embrace this stranger that they have maligned so long.” You could also say that the European Christians created the idea of “the Jew” and that sort of caricature had absolutely nothing to do with flesh and blood Jews. I kept noticing these parallels, as an outsider, reading American and African-American history. 

I was also thinking about this idea of servitude that was attached to Jews in Christian theology, and then in law. 

You write in your book that “Over time, white European Christians branded both Jews and people of color with ‘badges of servitude’ and inferiority.” What do you mean by servitude in this context?

In Christian theology, from the earliest Christian texts, the idea of servitude and slavery is attached to the concept of Jews and Judaism. Paul does it in his Epistles. He uses this quote from the book of Genesis that “the elder shall serve the younger,” which becomes really embedded in Christian theology. It is the Jews, the elder people, who should serve the Christians, the younger people. Later on in medieval theology and canon law, Jews are in a servile position, consigned for their sin of rejecting Jesus to perpetual servitude. So even though Jews were free people and could live mostly where they wanted to live, marry whoever they wanted to marry — nobody was sold and some even had slaves — that idea of Jews as confined to perpetual servitude to Christians created a habit of thinking of Jews as having an inferior social status. 

That language became secularized in modern times, and we see the development of the [antisemitic] trope of Jewish power: that they are in places where they shouldn’t be. I worked on fleshing out the parallels between the idea and then legal status of Jewish servitude and the conceptual perception of Black people in servile and inferior positions.

Magda Teter’s new book explores how “white European Christians branded both Jews and people of color with ‘badges of servitude’ and inferiority.” (Chuck Fishman)

What other kinds of parallels did you find between racism and antisemitism?

In the Christian theology, Black people, like Jews, will be seen as cursed by God. Jews were [portrayed as] lazy because they didn’t work physically — they made money and exploited Christians. Black people were [portrayed as] lazy because they were trying to avoid physical labor at the expense of white men. Both people were seen as carnal, both as sexually dangerous, and so on.

I was struck by the fact that the racist turn of Christian supremacy — justifying the enslavement of Black people on theological grounds — is a fairly late development, taking hold in the early modern period when Europeans established slaveholding empires. 

That’s right. In the summer of 2020, the summer of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, we were all thinking about these issues of race and racism and America. And as I was in the middle of writing the article that became the book, I felt that there was a deeper history that needed to be told, and that slavery is not bound by color until the enslavement of Black Africans by Europeans during the colonial expansion of Europe.

After the French Revolution, when Jews were offered “emancipation” in much of Europe, there were deep debates about whether they could be citizens and be entitled to the same rights and protections as Christian citizens of France and England and other countries. How was that debate informed by Christianity?

In pre-modern Europe, there was obviously both a religious and legal framework under which Jews existed. They had their place in a social hierarchy. After the French Revolution, people are creating a new political reality. The idea of equality obviously challenged the social hierarchies that existed, including the idea that Christians were the superior religion. And that begins to play a role on two levels. One is the level of, well, “how can you be equal and be our judges and make decisions about us?” It’s fear of power — political power and political equality. That challenges the habit of thinking that sees Jews as inferior, in servitude and otherwise insolent and arrogant.

The other level comes from Enlightenment scholars who begin to place Jews in the Middle East and in the Holy Land, in Palestine. Jews are no longer seen as European. They are seen as “Oriental,” and they are compared to the non-European religions and practices that these Enlightenment scholars have been studying. Their differences are now also racialized. “They are not like us, they can’t assimilate. They can never be Frenchmen, they can never be Germans.”

And I guess it’s a short step from that to regarding people with dark skin as inferior and subordinate. 

That’s right. Enlightenment scholars are also trying to to understand why it is justified to enslave Black Africans and they do it through “scientific” and other means. They classify Africans as inferior intellectually and they create this idea of race.

I began to think about these European politicians and intellectuals in terms of creating their identities, and what I ended up arguing is what we saw in Charlottesville, what we’re seeing in Europe. It’s not necessarily just about hate, but it’s about exclusion and rejection of Jews and people of color from equality, from citizenship. 

And the common thread here is that whiteness and Christianity become inseparable. You write that “freedom and liberty now came to be linked not only to Christianity, but to whiteness, and servitude and enslavement to blackness.”

That’s right. White Christian “liberty” becomes embedded and embodied in law.

Did you see any pitfalls in drawing parallels between the Black and Jewish experiences? I am thinking of those in either community who might say, “How dare you compare our suffering to theirs!” 

Yes, I was tempered. I think what some call “comparative victimhood” has paralyzed conversations about this subject, and I kept it in my mind all the time. What I hope comes through is that there’s incredible value in a comparative approach. Coming from Jewish studies as my primary field, the comparison with the Black experience gave me clarity on the nature of antisemitism as well as on the nature of the Jewish experience, and vice versa: The Jewish experience can also give clarity to some of the aspects of anti-Black racism. 

What’s an example?

So, for instance, questions like, “Are Jews white? Are they not white? When did they become white?” That’s a whole genre of scholarship. And when you look at it through the lens of law and ideology, you begin to see that from a legal perspective, Jews were considered white in the United States because they could immigrate and they could be naturalized according to law. They did not have to go to court to become American. Their rights to vote were not challenged. There was discrimination, they couldn’t stay in hotels and in some places they couldn’t find employment, but by law, they were considered citizens. The debate about the whiteness of Jews is creating a fog of misunderstanding. 

Black Americans were targeted by specific legal statutes from the very beginning in the Constitution and then in naturalization law and so on. And then there was the backlash even after the Civil War to the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments [aimed at establishing political equality for Americans of all races]. 

Statues at the Strasbourg Cathedral depict Ecclesia and Synagoga, representing the triumph of the church, at left, and the servitude of Judaism, which is represented by a blindfolded figure, drooping and carrying a broken lance. (Edelseider/Wikimedia Commons)

How much do modern-day white supremacists, like the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys, see themselves as Christian? Or is this a kind of white supremacy that doesn’t name itself Christian but doesn’t even realize how many of its ideas are based in theology?

I think they might not be conscious of this legacy, but neo-Nazis take from the legacy of the Nazis who themselves were not thinking of themselves as Christian necessarily. But what I argue in the book is that white Christian supremacy becomes white supremacy. It never discards the Christian sense of domination and superiority that emerges from its early relationship with Jews and Judaism. 

In the United States, Black people serve as contrast figures to whiteness, in the law and in the culture. You cannot have whiteness without Blackness. For Christians, Jews serve as that contrast figure. Consciously or unconsciously, the Proud Boys are embracing that. They talk of “God-given” freedoms for white people. That is the Christian legacy.

You said that the Nazis didn’t necessarily see themselves as a Christian movement. But I must ask, even though it is not the scope of your book, was the Holocaust a culmination of white Christian supremacy? Because I think many Christian theologians would want to say that Nazism was godless, and a perversion of the true faith.

I’ll say that when exclusionary ideology is coupled with the power of the state, that’s where it can lead. 

In the years since the Holocaust especially, there have been many efforts by Christian leaders to address the ideological failings of the past. You write about Nostra Aetate, the 1965 declaration by the Catholic Church absolving Jews of collective guilt in the death of Jesus and some Protestant documents of contrition. But I got the feeling you were disappointed that many denominations haven’t gone far enough in reckoning with the past.

There was a sort of a moral sense that something needs to be addressed after the Holocaust. But then it is not fully addressed. I don’t think anybody has addressed the issue of power — the roots of hate, yes, but not the dynamics of power. We’ll see where the book goes, but maybe theologians will begin to grapple with this legacy of superiority and domination, and the way hierarchical habits of thinking have been developed through theology and through religious culture.

What other impact do you hope the book may have?

White supremacy is very much in the air. We need to speak up against it, and make connections and allyships. I hope that maybe because the book deals with law and power, it may create bridges among people who care about “We the People” as a vision of people who are diverse, respectful and equal, and not the exclusionary vision offered by white and Christian supremacy.

A cross burns at a Ku Klux Klan rally on Aug. 8, 1925. (National Photo Company Collection)

I’d love to talk about your background. You’re not Jewish but you are chair of Jewish Studies at Fordham, a Catholic university. What drew you to the study of Judaism and the Jews?

I grew up in Poland with a father who from the time I was a little girl would point out to me that there had been Jews in Poland. We would drive through the countryside, and he’d say, “This used to be a Jewish town and there used to be a synagogue and there was the Jewish cemetery.” I grew up being very conscious of the past’s presence and this kind of stark absence of Jews in Poland, where in the 1970s when I grew up Jewish history was taboo. 

As soon as Jewish books on Jewish subjects began to be published, including those that dealt with antisemitism, we would read it together. We would talk about it. He wouldn’t just shift the destruction and murder of Jews in Poland on to the Nazis.

There was no Jewish studies program in Poland when I was applying to universities, so I studied Hebrew in Israel, and then studied Yiddish in New York at YIVO. I came to Columbia University to get my PhD in Jewish history and my career went in the direction it did. I was a professor of history and director of the Jewish and Israel studies program at Wesleyan University. I came to Fordham eight years ago and created a program in Jewish studies.

Your previous book was about the blood libel, the historic canard that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood. This one’s about antisemitism. I don’t want to presume, but is your interest in these subjects in any way an act of contrition?

I grew up in a very secular household. I did not grow up Catholic. But I think growing up in Poland made me very, very aware of antisemitism and the history of antisemitism. I got my PhD from Columbia University in Jewish history, which did not emphasize Jewish suffering, but Jewish life, and I have studied Jewish life and teach about Jewish life — not just about Jewish suffering. 

However, in the last few years, antisemitism has certainly been on the minds of many of us. I also am committed to the idea of shared history, and therefore all my scholarship, as much as it is about Jews, it is also about the church and Poland and the law. Jews are an integral part of that history and culture. And, as such, I’m committed to that, to teaching about the vibrancy of Jewish life as much as the dynamics of what made that life difficult over the centuries.

The post A scholar sees a common root for antisemitism and racism: ‘Christian supremacy’  appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Hating Israel Isn’t New; How the CIA and State Department Undermined the Jewish State

“Teddy Roosevelt’s great-great-great grandson is an anti-Israel protester at Princeton,” blared a New York Post headline on May 4, 2024.
The Post reported that Quentin Colon Roosevelt, an 18-year-old freshman, and descendant of the 25th President, is an anti-Israel activist at the Ivy League university. But far from being hip and new, Quentin’s brand of anti-Zionism is old hat — he is merely continuing a long family tradition of anti-Israel activism.
There is an abundance of literature on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s views on Jews and Zionism, the belief in Jewish self-determination. Both FDR and his wife Eleanor had made antisemitic remarks. In a private conversation in 1938, then-President Roosevelt suggested that by dominating the economy in Poland, Jews were themselves fueling antisemitism. And in a 1941 Cabinet meeting, FDR remarked that there were too many Jewish Federal employees in Oregon. In his final days, FDR promised Saudi leader Abdul Aziz Ibn al Saud that he would oppose the creation of Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.
FDR is the president who led the United States to victory against Adolf Hitler. He also employed Jews in high-ranking positions in his government. But he is also the president whose administration failed to save more Jews fleeing Nazism, and who refused to bomb the railway tracks leading to Auschwitz and other death camps where millions of Jews met a ghastly end. Accordingly, it makes sense that his beliefs regarding Jews have been the subject of books and belated study.
Less examined, however, is the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt clan, and their beliefs regarding Zionism. In part, this is easily explained by the unique place that FDR holds in American history. He is the only president to serve four terms, and presided over both the Great Depression, World War II, and arguably the beginning of the Cold War. His branch of the family, the Hyde Park Roosevelts, were Democrats and remained active in public life for decades after his 1945 death.
At first glance, the Oyster Bay Roosevelts were more of a turn of the 19th century affair. They were Republicans, and their scion was Teddy Roosevelt, a war hero turned governor of New York state who, thanks to an assassin’s bullet, found himself as the nation’s leader in 1901.
The famously ebullient Roosevelt helped redefine the country’s idea of a president, and served as an inspiration for his cousin Franklin. But Teddy largely presided over an era of peace and tranquility, not war and upheaval.
Teddy was a philosemite. He was the first occupant of the Oval Office to appoint a Jewish American to the Cabinet. He championed the rights of Jews, both at home and abroad, and was harshly critical of the numerous pogroms that unfolded in czarist Russia.
As Seth Rogovoy has noted, Roosevelt’s “special relationship with Jews was forged during his time serving as police commissioner in New York City, a post he assumed in 1904.” When an antisemitic German preacher named Hermann Ahlwardt gave speeches in the city, Roosevelt assigned a contingent of Jewish police officers to guard the man.
Roosevelt was also a Zionist. In 1918, shortly after the Balfour Declaration, he wrote: “It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist state around Jerusalem.” He told Lioubomir Michailovitch, the Serbian Minister to the United States, that “there can be no peace worth having … unless the Jews [are] given control of Palestine.” Six months later Roosevelt died in his sleep.
Not all his descendants would share his belief in Jewish self-determination, however.
Two of Teddy Roosevelt’s grandchildren, Kermit and Archie, served their country in the CIA during the early years of the Cold War. Both were keenly interested in Middle East affairs, and were fluent in Arabic. Both were well read and highly educated, authoring books and filing dispatches for newspapers like the Saturday Evening Post, among others.
They were also prominent anti-Zionists.
Kermit Roosevelt, known as “Kim,” played a key role in anti-Zionist efforts in the United States and abroad. He was not, by the standards of his time, an antisemite. But he was ardently opposed to the creation of Israel.
As Hugh Wilford observed in his 2013 book America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East: “the anti-Zionism of the overt Cold War foreign policy establishment is well known” but “less widely appreciated is the opposition to Jewish statehood of the individuals responsible for setting up the United States’ covert apparatus in the Middle East.”
This began with the OSS, the CIA’s precursor. And it included men like Stephen Penrose, a former American University of Beirut instructor, and Kim Roosevelt’s boss during his wartime service in the OSS.
“Documents among Penrose’s personal papers reveal him engaged in a variety of anti-Zionist activities at the same time that he was commencing his official duties with the OSS,” Wilford notes.
Like many of his fellow Arabists, Penrose was the son of American missionaries who, failing to convert the native population to Christianity, sought to foster Arab nationalism instead. Penrose described himself as a “chief cook” who was “brewing” opposition to Zionism. He became one of Kim Roosevelt’s mentors.
In a January 1948 Middle East Journal article entitled, “Partition of Palestine: A Lesson in Pressure Politics,” Kim called the 1947 UN vote in favor of a Jewish state an “instructive and disturbing story.”
Roosevelt believed that the US media was unduly supportive of the creation of Israel, and claimed that almost all Americans “with diplomatic, educational, missionary, or business experience in the Middle East” opposed Zionism.
Kim’s pamphlet was reprinted by the Institute for Arab American Affairs, a New York-based group whose board he sat on. He also began working with the Arab League’s Washington, D.C., office and “turned elsewhere for allies in the anti-Zionist struggle, starting with the Protestant missionaries, educators, and aid workers.”
This nascent group soon received financial support from the American oil industry, which maintained close links to Kim’s OSS/CIA colleague, William Eddy.
As Wilford noted, the Arabian consortium ARAMCO “launched a public relations campaign intended to bring American opinion around to the Arab point of view.”
In addition to missionaries and big oil, Kim gained another important ally in the form of Elmer Berger, a rabbi from Flint, Michigan. Berger served as executive director of the American Council for Judaism, an anti-Zionist group that, among other things, opposed the creation of a Jewish army during World War II at the height of the Holocaust. Berger and Roosevelt became drinking buddies and close collaborators on their joint effort against the Jewish State.
Kim eventually became “organizing secretary” for a group called The Committee for Justice and Peace. The committee’s original chair, Virginia Gildersleeve, was both a longtime friend of the Roosevelts of Oyster Bay and the dean of New York City’s Barnard College, which today is part of Columbia.
Gildersleeve was “also a high-profile anti-Zionist” who “became involved with the Arab cause through her association with the Arabist philanthropist Charles Crane and the historian of Arab nationalism George Antonius.”
Crane, a wealthy and notorious antisemite, had lobbied against the creation of a Jewish state since the beginning of the 20th century, even advising then-President Woodrow Wilson against supporting the Balfour Declaration.
By 1950, the Committee had managed to recruit famed journalist Dorothy Thompson to their cause. Thompson was reportedly the basis for actress Katharine Hepburn’s character in the 1942 movie Woman of the Year. A convert to anti-Zionism, Thompson’s extensive network of reporters and celebrities proved crucial to Kim and Berger’s efforts to rally opposition to the Jewish State. In a 1951 letter to Barnard College’s Gildersleeve, Thompson wrote: “I am seriously concerned about the position of the Jews in the United States.” People, she claimed, “are beginning to ask themselves the question: who is really running America?”
Another ally emerged that year: the Central Intelligence Agency.
The CIA began funding the Committee, as well as its successor, the American Friends of the Middle East (AFME). Beginning in June 1950, Kim’s correspondence with Berger began making veiled references to the ACJ head taking on “official work” in Washington. This, Wilford believes, is a reference to working with the CIA. Indeed, the well-connected Kim and Archie Roosevelt had known top CIA officials like Allan Dulles since childhood.
With support from figures like Eddy, AFME also began encouraging Muslim-Christian alliances — ostensibly to counter Soviet influence, but also to attack the Jewish state. This led to some awkward alliances, including with Amin al-Husseini, the founding father of Palestinian nationalism and an infamous Nazi collaborator.
Husseini had ordered the murders of rival Palestinians, incited violence against Jews since the 1920s, and had led forces, equipped with Nazi-supplied arms, to destroy Israel at its rebirth in 1948. Now, along with the Secretary General of the Arab League, and Saudi King Ibn Saud, he was meeting with Eddy to discuss a “moral alliance” between Christians and Muslims to defeat communism. Kim himself knew Husseini, having interviewed him for the Saturday Evening Post after World War II.
AFME lobbied for the appointment of anti-Zionist diplomats and in favor of Eisenhower administration efforts to withhold aid from Israel. And both Berger and Thompson pushed for favorable coverage of the new Egyptian dictator, Gamal Nassar, who would wage war on the Jewish state for nearly two decades. Initially, they were successful, with TIME magazine writing that Nasser had the “lithe grace of a big, handsome, all-American quarterback.” Of course, there was nothing “all-American” about Nasser, who would become a Soviet stooge.
AFME officials like Garland Evans Hopkins would draw rebukes after claiming that Jews were bringing violence against themselves — a staple of antisemitism. Hopkins claimed that Zionists “could produce a wave of antisemitism in this country” if they continued acting against “America’s best interests in the Middle East.”
AFME itself would eventually lose influence, particularly after its boosting of figures like Nasser was revealed as foolhardy. Berger would go on to advise Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR) in his efforts to get pro-Israel Americans to register as foreign agents.
In 1967, as Arab forces gathered to annihilate Israel, Berger blamed the Jewish State, accusing it of “aggression” and its supporters of “hysteria.” Top ACJ officials resigned in protest. That same year, Ramparts magazine exposed CIA support, financial and otherwise, of AFME.
Kim and Archie Roosevelt, however, would continue their careers as high-ranking CIA officers before eventually starting a consulting business and making use of their extensive Middle East contacts.
For some college protesters, attacking Israel — and American support for Israel — might seem new and trendy. Yet, both the CIA and big oil were precisely doing that, decades ago, forming alliances with anti-American dictators, antisemitic war criminals, the press, Protestant groups, academics, university administrators, and fringe Jewish groups claiming to represent “what’s best” for American Jewry.
As William Faulkner once wrote: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The writer is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis
The post Hating Israel Isn’t New; How the CIA and State Department Undermined the Jewish State first appeared on Algemeiner.com

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Canada’s economic growth projected to be about 1% in the first half of 2024

Canada is a country with a thriving Jewish community and has traditionally offered the security of a strong economy for residents. The national economic outlook is naturally something that everyone in Canada’s Jewish community keeps track of – especially those involved in business in the various provinces.

With this in mind, the July 2023 Monetary Policy Report from the Bank of Canada made for interesting reading, projecting a moderate economic growth figure of around 1% for the first half of 2024. This is in line with growth figures that had been forecast for the second half of 2023, and sees the country’s economy remain on a stable footing.

Steady projected growth for first half of 2024

Although projected economic growth of around 1% in early 2024 is not as impressive as figures of around 3.4% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, it is certainly no cause for alarm. But what might be behind it?

Higher interest rates are one major factor to consider and have had a negative impact on household spending nationally. This has effectively seen people with less spending power and businesses in Canada generating less revenue as a result.

Interest rate rises have also hit business investments nationally, and less money is being channelled into this area to fuel Canada’s economic growth. When you also factor in how the weak foreign demand for Canadian goods and services has hit export growth lately, the projected GDP growth figure for early 2024 is understandable.

Growth in second half of 2024 expected

Although the above may make for interesting reading for early 2024, the Bank of Canada’s report does show that economic growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. This is projected to be due to the decreasing effect of high interest rates on the Canadian economy and a stronger foreign demand for the country’s exports.

Moving forward from this period, it is predicted that inflation will remain at around 3% as we head into 2025, and hit the Bank of Canada’s inflation target of 2% come the middle of 2025. All of this should help the country’s financial status remain stable and prove encouraging for business leaders in the Jewish community.

Canada’s economic growth mirrors iGaming’s rise

When you take a look at the previous growth figures Canada has seen and also consider the growth predicted for 2024 (especially in the second half of the year), it is clear that the country has a vibrant, thriving economy.

This economic growth is something that can be compared with iGaming’s recent rise as an industry around the country. In the same way as Canada has steadily built a strong economy over time, iGaming has transformed itself into a powerful, flourishing sector.

This becomes even clearer when you consider that Canadian iGaming has been a major contributor to the sustained growth seen in the country’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which rose by around 1.9% in Q2 of 2023. The healthy state of online casino play in Canada is also evidenced by how many customers the most popular casino platforms attract and how the user experience these operators offer has enabled iGaming in the country to take off.

This, of course, is also something that translates to the world stage, where global iGaming revenues in 2023 hit an estimated $95 billion. iGaming’s global market volume is also pegged to rise to around $130 billion by 2027. These kinds of figures represent a sharp jump for iGaming worldwide and show how the sector is on the ascent.

Future economic outlook for Canada in line with global expectations

When considering the Canadian economic outlook for 2024, it is often useful to look at how this compares with global financial predictions. In addition to the rude health of iGaming in Canada being reflected in global online casino gaming, the positive economic outlook for the country is also broadly in line with expectations for many global economies.

Global growth is also predicted to rise steadily in the second half of 2024 before becoming stronger in 2025. This should be driven by the weakening effects of high interest rates on worldwide economic prosperity. With rate cuts in Canada already expected after Feb 2024’s inflation report, this could happen in the near future.

The performance of the US economy is always of interest in Canada, as this is the country’s biggest trading partner. Positive US Q2 performances in 2023, powered by a strong labor market, good consumer spending levels and robust business investments, were therefore a cause for optimism. As a US economy that continues to grow is something that Canadian businesses welcome, this can only be a healthy sign.

Canada set for further growth in 2024

Local news around Canada can cover many topics but the economy is arguably one of the most popular. A projected GDP growth figure of around 1% for Canada’s economy shows that the financial state of the country is heading in the right direction. An improved financial outlook heading into the latter half of 2024/2025 would make for even better reading, and the national economy should become even stronger.

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The Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling has grown in popularity around the globe in recent years. While many jurisdictions have legalized land-based gambling, it hasn’t applied to online platforms. Nonetheless, Canada is one nation that has legalized online gambling with their provinces’ licensing and regulating sites.

Nonetheless, Canadians of legal age can enjoy playing their favourite online games where available. So many games like slots, blackjack, and roulette still maintain their popularity even in the digital sense.  Want to learn about what’s legal in Canada for online gambling? Let’s take a look.

What is legal for online gambling in Canada?

What is the best online casino in Canada? The list we provide you here should be a good start. It’s also important to note that most Canadian provinces do not have laws that prohibit offshore online casinos.

Many provinces provide licensing to online casinos. They even regulate them as well. For example, Alberta and British Columbia have sites regulated by their respective governing bodies. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) allows legal online gambling and oversees the services it offers to Maritime provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there are some caveats to address. In Newfoundland and Labrador, online gambling that is not offered by the ALC is considered illegal. Therefore, it is the only Canadian province as of 2024 that prohibits offshore options.

In terms of the legal age, there are three provinces where the legal age is 18: Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The remaining provinces establish 19 as the legal age for gambling including online.

Who are the regulatory bodies for gambling in Canada?

At the Federal level, the Canadian Gaming Association is the regulatory body for gambling in Canada. Thus, they cover both land-based and online gambling in the country. There are also provincial and regional regulatory bodies such as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – which covers the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. A handful of provinces also have their regulatory bodies covering lottery and gaming.

Canada requires online casinos that wish to accept players from the country to adhere to regulations and licensing. These licenses are provided by provincial regulatory bodies. When licensed, online casinos must follow the regulations and security standards.

However, there is the belief that many of the laws about gambling in Canada may be outdated. This could be because these laws were created long before the advent of the Internet. Therefore, such laws may need to be modernized. Nonetheless, online gambling for the most part is legal, just dependent on the province.

Are there any legal grey areas to discuss?

The grey area that is considered a concern pertains to the use of offshore sites. As mentioned earlier, Newfoundland and Labrador is believed to be the only province that prohibits it. Even online casinos with no licensing by Canadian or provincial authorities accept residents of the country.

On the players’ end, many Canadians are allowed to play at online casinos. However, they may be restricted from certain platforms. This is to ensure that the players themselves are protected from unknowingly playing on platforms that may be illegal. 

What are the other laws and regulations about online gambling in Canada?

Online casinos have implemented measures for responsible gambling. This includes providing support and resources to problem gamblers on their site. They are also restricted regarding the marketing and advertising aspects of promoting their platform. 

One restriction of note is that marketing that is targeted at minors is prohibited. Another prohibits professional athletes from appearing in online casino ads in Ontario.

Even offshore casinos must adhere to these laws and regulations. Especially if they have obtained a license from the provincial bodies that allow them to operate.

Canada’s online gambling is legal – but will things change

As it stands right now, the legality of online gambling in Canada seems to fall under the purview of provincial laws and regulations. Canadian citizens must perform their due diligence further to see which online casinos are allowed by their respective provinces. Just because it may be legal in one province, it may not be the same in others.

Nonetheless, the question is: will any laws relax certain restrictions? Will Newfoundland and Labrador change their tune regarding offshore casinos? It’s unclear what the future holds – but watch this space for any changes about online gambling in Canada.  

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