TORONTO, ON, May 14, 2018 – The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) welcomes the decision by the United States Supreme Court to strike down a federal law that bars gambling on sports betting. Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opening the door for regulated sports wagering in the U.S. as 18 states have already introduced legislation to legalize sports wagering.
“While this is encouraging news for U.S. operators, it further reinforces that the Canadian Parliament needs to act. Sports betting is a product enjoyed by millions of Canadians who spend billions illegally to access it,” stated Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “Provinces requested a simple amendment to our criminal code seven years ago, which would have provided greater regulatory oversight and control to sports wagering to protect consumers, athletes, and the integrity of sport. This request has fallen on deaf ears.”
We know that Canadians enjoy sports betting because they are wagering approximately $10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime organizations. Additionally, more than $ 4 billion is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites. Right now, 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.
The CGA calls on the federal government to make the simple amendment to the Criminal Code to permit single-event sports wagering. This will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer and athlete protection, while enabling the economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments.
The CGA is available for comment on the decision to strike PASPA down, the changing attitude of sports leagues, and what it may mean for Canadians.
About the Canadian Gaming Association
The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance the evolution of Canada’s gaming industry. The association’s mandate is to promote the economic value of gaming in Canada; use research, innovation, and best practices to help the industry advance; and create productive dialogue among stakeholders. www.canadiangaming.ca
For further information please contact:
Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association