Canadian sports betting bill on the table

canadian flagSingle game sports betting in Canada could be closer than many realize with the second reading of a motion set to take place later this month and most provinces likely to support it. Joe Comartin, an NDP MP for Windsor-Tecumseh, introduced the private members bill on September 28th that would repeal a small section of the country’s criminal code.

Comartin’s comments, carried by the Off Shore Gaming Association’s website, read as follows:

“This is a very simple bill, matching the personality and character of the person moving it. It is simply a repeal of one very small section of the Criminal Code. The effect it will have is to allow for sports betting on single sporting events in this country.

“This is a very important bill from this perspective. That industry is very big, entirely controlled by organized crime at the present time both here and in the United States because it is generally illegal in the United States to bet on one sporting event.

“The estimate in the United States is that there is $30 billion a year that is bet on that, all going into the pockets of organized crime and some of it offshore. It is estimated that as much as $2 billion is spent in Canada, annually, all of that money going out of the country to organized crime syndicates in the U.S. and in the Caribbean.

“It is quite important that we move on this. The other thing is there is a national gaming association in Canada. It just completed a study that shows the type of employment that will be created by creating this into a legal business. For instance, in the casino in Windsor there will be another 150 jobs either saved or added to the current employment in that particular casino.

“In the riding of the Minister of Justice (Niagara Falls) there is a casino and a similar number of jobs will either be saved or added. So it is job creation.”

The comments about organized crime running gaming industry sites in the US and Caribbean are far off the mark although the fact they’re trying to get single game sports betting allowed is movement in the right direction.

The motion gets a second reading on October 31st and it it’s approved it will be sent to committees during November to be analyzed. It might still be a little while yet but if it makes the Senate then it’s highly likely it will pass through and be rubber-stamped without much fuss.