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Lawson’s Single-Event Sports Wagering Call

Published: January 27, 2020 2:47 pm ET

Last Comment: January 27, 2020 10:30 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson has issued a call for single-event sports wagering in Canada.

Lawson’s call has come via an article in which Lawson makes it clear that, in his opinion, now is the time for single-event sports wagering to become legal across the nation. The chief executive officer of Canada’s horse racing leader also said that if and when the type of wagering becomes law, he thinks it is imperative for all parties involved that Woodbine play a major role.

"In Ontario alone, there've been many studies that show (horse racing) represents 30,000 to 40,000 jobs and you can spread that across the country. We want to play a role in protecting the jobs horse racing represents,” Lawson stated.

"The reason it's so important we have a role, I believe, is we have a non-profit mandate and with that we're going to be able to invest any net proceeds back into the industry, back into -- depending on how this gets structured -- youth sports, back into health care and education. There's a whole lot we can do as a non-profit mandate that other companies won't and can't do because they have shareholders and many are public companies."

The United States of America lifted its ban on single-event sports wagering in 2018 and many states have since adopted the practice. The windfalls have proven to be lucrative for the respective governments.

"As the only company that has this capacity and is authorized to do legal, single-event sports wagering in Canada, we have grown our technology, our infrastructure, our management team, our relationship with the regulators," Lawson has been quoted as saying in the article. "We very much have a responsibility that's acceptable to the regulators and are running a very trusted product and system that people can rely on and have grown to trust throughout the entire country."

Lawson has stated that some of the profits from the venture could return to the horse racing industry in the form of increased purses, and thus a subsidy would no longer be needed.

"What it would do is give this industry the ability to stand on its own and support all the jobs and the economic impact," he said. "In doing so, we'd no longer need a subsidy.

"Our mindset is not to think of this as a windfall for us,” Lawson went on to say. “This is a way to do the right thing, which is let an industry participate in a way that will sustain jobs and keep the money in Canada to support the local economies."

The article has quoted Brian Masse – an NDP Member of Parliament for Windsor West that has long championed the legalization of single-event sports wagering in Canada – as saying that "The unregulated market offshore now is estimated at $10 to $12 billion," adding, "We have billions of dollars of infrastructure at risk."

The article also contains quotes from Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeff Gural, who has seen his New Jersey raceway stabilized with the introduction of expanded legalized sports wagering in the state.

"I can tell you our business online at the Meadowlands is US$2.5 billion," Gural was quoted as saying. "So, I think clearly $10 billion in Canada is probably a low number."

To read the complete article, which includes more quotes and insight into the issue, click here.

(With files from CTV News)

January 27, 2020 - 10:30 pmThis is, and, has been for

ron francis SAID...

This is, and, has been for some time, a "no-brainer". What is the holdup? It is coming everywhere so why not now? And single sports betting does tie in well with racing. The obvious downfalls exist with gambling addiction, but sports bettors will find a venue. It might as well be at home.

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