Liberal Sandra Pupatello notes the need to be more competitive and capture the illegal market revenue

Canada: Windsor candidate seeks to allow single-game sports betting, backed by CGA

With the Windsor Casino as a backdrop to her media gathering, Sandra Pupatello said the Canadian gaming industry is being hurt by its inability to offer a product its direct competitors in Michigan, Ohio and New York now offer.
2019-10-14
Canada
Reading time 2:35 min
The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) welcomed Pupatello's commitment and called on all parties "to fight for the simple amendment that provinces requested 10 years ago." It says $10 billion (USD 7.56 B) are wagered annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, and more than $4 billion (USD 3 B) is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites.

Windsor West liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello stated she intends to get legislation passed to allow single-game sports betting where her NDP rival in Windsor West (Ontario, Canada) Brian Masse was unable to do so.

“We need to change our laws to allow for single-sports betting in order to be more competitive and capture more of the revenue that is currently going offshore or to unregulated or illegal beneficiaries,” Pupatello said in a press conference on Thursday, as reported by the Windsor Star.

“The Canadian Gaming Association estimates this would add up to 150 jobs right here in Windsor, perhaps another 100 in Niagara Falls,” she said.“It could result in another 1,000 or 1,500 (jobs) right across the country. The revenue for provincial governments would go up by as much as a billion dollars.”

In a press release on the same day, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) welcomed “the commitment made by Windsor West Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello to amend the criminal code to enable single-event sports betting, agreeing with her comment that there is no reason to hold back on this initiative."

"We are thrilled to have Ms. Pupatello's support and call on all parties to fight for the simple amendment that provinces requested 10 years ago that would benefit places like Windsor," stated Paul Burns, President and CEO of the CGA. "This change would give provinces the tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians while helping economic benefits, such as jobs, flow to communities and provincial governments."

According to the entity, Canadians are wagering approximately $10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime organizations. Additionally, more than $ 4 billion is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites, and only $500 million is currently wagered through legal provincial sports lottery products offered to Canadians.

The CGA further says that gaming in Canada provides almost 182,500 jobs and good salaries – the average national wage is $65,000 – and a portion of the revenue generated equalling $9.1 billion is transferred to fund government, community programs, charitable causes, and First Nations initiatives. 

"Let us not lose sight of how one small change can drive enormous benefits to the Canadian gaming industry, Canadian communities, as well as Canadians, who just want to be able to bet on the outcome of the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, or World Series," added Mr. Burns. "The CGA has been advocating for single-event sports wagering for a decade. With all party support and assistance from our federal government, its time has come."

With the casino as a backdrop to her media gathering, Pupatello credited former NDP MP Joe Comartin and Masse with getting the ball rolling on the issue. Comartin’s bill got through the House of Commons, but it eventually stalled in the Senate.

Pupatello said the landscape for single-sports event betting has changed significantly from when Masse first introduced a bill three years ago. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 has allowed individual states to offer single-game betting. The major sports leagues in North America, the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL, are now all supportive of single-game betting to try and get a piece of the gambling business.

In addition, Pupatello said the Canadian gaming industry is being hurt by its inability to offer a product its direct competitors in Michigan, Ohio and New York now offer.

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