OTTAWA, Ontario -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Bill Rutsey, President of the Canadian Gaming Association urged Canadian Senators to do the right thing when they vote Bill C-290 "An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Sports Betting)". The Private Members Bill would remove an out-of-date section of the Criminal Code that prevents single sport event betting in Canada. The bill, unanimously approved by all parties in the House of Commons and with support in writing from five provincial governments, awaits third reading in the Senate.
"We have a clear choice: either allow billions to go offshore and through illegal book making operations, or offer Canadians a legal alternative, supervised by our provincial regulators, capturing revenue for government and creating good-paying, permanent new jobs" stated Rutsey.
Sports betting has existed in Canada for more than two decades, the proposed change to the Criminal Code would finally allow the betting on a single sporting event, the overwhelming choice of sports bettors, rather than having to pick at least two or three winners as is currently required.
Rutsey went on to say, "All parties in the House of Commons think this is a good idea, provinces are asking for it and all the legal, regulatory, law enforcement and problem gambling experts who appeared before the Senate Committee agreed that it's the right thing to do. The International Olympic Committee's Working Group on Irregular and Illegal Betting in Sport recommendations are in line with the proposed amendment. The Senate needs to make sure it isn't standing in the way of a small change in law that combats organized crime and match fixing, creates jobs and new revenue and catches up with technology and what much of what the rest of the world is already doing".
The Senate is to consider Private members Bill C-290, originally introduced by NDP MP Joe Comartin in late November 2011.
About the Canadian Gaming Association
The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association (www.canadiangaming.ca) 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.
TOP SIX FACTS ABOUT SINGLE EVENT SPORTS BETTING IN CANADA
Single event sports betting in Canada is a huge business, estimated to be in excess of $10 billion annually (and as much as $40 billion) conducted illegally through bookies by organized crime, and $4 billion through offshore internet sites that are not regulated by Canadian provincial regulators.
Sports betting has existed in Canada for more than two decades.
All parties in the House of Commons unanimously approved this bill on March 2, 2012.
The Federal Minister of Justice has received letters from the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario requesting the criminal code be amended to permit single event sports wagering. The provinces of Quebec, PEI and New Brunswick have also indicated support for the amendment.
All the expert witnesses appearing before the Senate Committee, representing the legal, law enforcement, academic, regulatory and problem gambling research and treatment communities, recommended to passage of Bill C-290.
Canada will not be a pioneer. Besides Nevada, sports betting is legal in Great Britain, Europe, Australia and online through regulated sports books.
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