$150 million will be illegally wagered during Super Bowl weekend alone

TORONTO, ON, January 28, 2015 – The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is today issuing a reminder to Canadians that more than $150 million in illegal wagering will take place during Super Bowl weekend thanks to the ongoing inaction of the Senate to pass Bill C290.

“You need only look at the recent media headlines from earlier this month”, said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “Two weeks ago, a Montreal police officer was arrested in an illegal gambling crackdown that had ties to a Mafia bookmaker. And we all remember the Platinum Sportsbook bust from Super Bowl 2013 that was linked to the Hell’s Angels. The only people profiting from illegal sports betting are criminals and offshore operators who are not licensed and regulated to do business in Canada.”

You don’t have to be in Las Vegas to take advantage of the betting action on the Super Bowl. The American Gaming Association recently reported that Americans will place US$3.8 billion in illegal bets on the Super Bowl this year – significantly more than the nearly US$100 million in legal bets placed on the game each year. This amounts to approximately 1 percent of the US$380 billion that is illegal wagered annually in the US.

In Canada, the CGA estimates that $150 million will be wagered illegally compared with only $3 million through legal sports lottery operations.

Canada’s sports betting legislation has not been updated since the 1960s to reflect current technologies or preferences. Bill C290 is a simple amendment to the Criminal Code to permit wagering on the outcome of single sporting events. Canadians are currently only permitted to make parlay bets (wagering on the outcome of three or more events), which remains as unpopular as ever.

“We have an option on the table and it’s called Bill C290,” added Mr. Rutsey. “It has the full support of communities, law enforcement, and politicians of all stripes across the country.  Together with the CGA, they want to fight criminal activity to ensure that Canadians can place a bet on the outcome of the game between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots in a safe and lawful manner.”

The CGA is urging Canadians to contact their local senator to express their displeasure at not being allowed to place a legal single-event sports wager. Visit C290NOW.ca, a website developed specifically to address the debate regarding Bill C290, which includes a counter that captures the amount of money illegally wagered since Bill C290 entered the Senate in March 2012.  The counter currently shows over $40 billion.

“With your help, 2015 will be the year when we finally plug the flow of money and stop making millionaires out of offshore bookmakers and organized crime,” concluded Mr. Rutsey. “We are confident that Canadians would prefer a regulated option to getting tangled up in nefarious activities that might result in their worldly possessions being carried away.”


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
[email protected]