The Canadian Gaming Association, or CGA, is backing Sandra Pupatello’s call to amend the criminal code and legalise single-event sports betting. The Winsor West Liberal candidate commented that there is no reason to deny this initiative, and the CGA voiced its agreement. Since casinos are so widespread in Canada, the feeling is that sports betting should also be allowed.
The CGA is a non-profit organisation that was established to facilitate balanced dialogue about all matters pertaining to gaming in Canada. With a mandate to bring facts to the media, key decision makers and elected officials as well as the general public, it aims to create a greater understanding of the gambling industry. As such, the support of the respected Association could go a long way to implementing Pupatello’s amendment call.
The CGA feels that the change would be very beneficial, since sports betting already takes place on a large scale in the country via illegal bookmaking operations that are usually operated by organised crime units. As well as these dubious land-based activities, Canadians spend more than $4 billion ay year at offshore betting sites.
By contrast, legal provincial sports lottery products earn just $500 million. In short, legalising wagers on single sporting events would allow for a more regulated industry similar to online and land-based casinos. This would better protect customers, generate tax revenue and promote responsible gambling.
The CGA’s Paul Burns, said the amendment would give provinces the tool they needed to deliver safe and legal betting options, while creating jobs and economic benefits for communities and provincial governments. Burns said his organisation was thrilled to have Pupatello’s support, and that it called on all parties to fight for the simple change. He added that provinces actually requested the amendment and were supported by the CGA 10 years ago, as they recognised its advantages even then.
The liberal candidate has vowed to get the single sports betting legislation passed, as her Windsor West New Democratic Party rival Brian Masse was unable to accomplish. She appears to be using the issue as a key point in her federal election campaign, where she is fighting hard against Masse, underlining how she can be more effective than him as a Member of Parliament. Casino and gambling insiders will be watching with interest to see whether this strategy works and whether the amendment will be made.