Bill C-‐290 passes third reading with all-‐party support and is sent to the Senate
TORONTO, ON, March 2, 2012 – The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) today is pleased to acknowledge a major milestone for Bill C-‐290, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code – Sports Betting, to permit single-‐ event sports wagering in Canada. Championed by Joe Comartin, M.P. for Windsor-‐Tecumseh, the bill passed third reading with all-‐party support and will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
Currently, single-‐event sports wagering in Canada is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion per year, however only a small portion of that revenue ($450 million) is wagered through provincial sports lottery products. This means that Canadians are increasingly wagering through offshore sports books or turning to illegal bookmakers.
The CGA has contested that despite the existence of parlay-‐style sports wagering, existing restrictions on single-‐event sports wagering have not kept pace with the evolution of the sports industry, technology, or the appetite of sports bettors.
“We are very encouraged by the progress made to date, as well as the strong support that the bill has received from all the major parties,” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “We look forward to working with the Senate as it evaluates the bill, in order to reinforce how important it is to provide Canadians with a legal and regulated product for wagering on individual sporting events.”
If Bill C-‐290 receives Royal Assent, provinces will then be free to decide whether or not, and in what format, they want to offer single-‐event sports wagering. The popularity of the option however can’t be ignored, as the creation of true sports books will allow Canadians to wager in safe and regulated environments, draw tourists, and provide additional revenue generating opportunities to land-‐based casinos and the provincial governments that support them. For border casinos such as the ones in Windsor or Niagara in Ontario, legalized single-‐event sports wagering will present a significant competitive advantage and a potential draw for American customers.
“The bill has received tremendous support to date, which we take as a sign that the parties recognize the need to change this antiquated legislation,” Mr. Rutsey concluded. “ We remain confident that we will be able to celebrate the amendment with our industry in the months to come.”
About the Canadian Gaming Association
The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association is to create balance in the public dialogue about gaming in Canada.
Our members are among the largest most established gaming operators, suppliers and gaming equipment manufacturers in Canada.
Our mandate is to create a better understanding of the gaming industry through education and advocacy.
Visit our website at www.canadiangaming.ca and find more about the CGA.
For further information please contact:
Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association, (416) 579-‐3922