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Another push for single-event sports betting in Canada

25 February 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Canadian Gaming Association fully supports the introduction of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in Parliament as a Private Member’s Bill by Kevin Waugh, MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood. The Bill will amend the Criminal Code to make it legal to bet on the outcome of a single sporting event.

Canada has had legal sports wagering for decades however presently, Canadians can only place wagers through a parlay bet, which means betting on and correctly predicting the outcome of at least two or more games in order to win their bet.

Canadians enjoy sports betting because they are wagering approximately $10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime. Additionally, more than $4 billion is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites. Currently, only $500 million is wagered through legal provincial sports lottery products offered to Canadians, which means many people are betting through illegal and often dangerous means.

“Amending the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports wagering will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians,” said Paul Burns, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, “as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer protection while enabling economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments.”

Experts in responsible gambling, law enforcement, and amateur sport all believe that bringing regulatory oversight and control to sports wagering is the best way to protect people, athletes, and the integrity of the games.

An amendment to permit single-event sports wagering has had almost unanimous endorsement from provincial governments across Canada, as well as support from organized labor through Unifor and the Canadian Labor Congress; business organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; sports organizations such as Soccer Canada and the International Olympic Committee; law enforcement; dozens of mayors and community leaders across Canada; and most recently, Canadian and North American professional sports leagues such as the CFL, NBA, and NHL.

“This amendment will allow us to safeguard the $17.1-billion economic contribution that gaming makes to Canada as well as the 182,500 jobs that support not only individuals but communities,” added Mr. Burns, “We look forward to working with all political parties to make single-event sports wagering a reality.”

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