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Single-Game Sports Wagering Coming?


Published: September 29, 2011 12:33 pm ET

Last Comment: September 30, 2011 10:51 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Wednesday, September 28, Joe Comartin, M.P. Windsor Tecumseh, introduced an Act to Amend the Criminal Code in the House of Commons to permit single-event sports wagering in Canada.

A release by the Canadian Gaming Association has stated that sports wagering, estimated to be in excess of $10 billion annually, is arguably the single most popular form of gambling for Canadians. However, only $450 million of that is wagered through the current legally-regulated provincial sports lottery products.

Canada has enjoyed legalized parlay-style sports wagering for many decades, but the current restriction which prohibits wagering on a single sporting event does not reflect the modern reality for sports bettors. With the passage of this bill, Canadians will have a legal and regulated product for wagering on the individual sporting events of their choice.

"The reality is that Canadians are wagering on sports predominantly through illegal means, either with bookies or online," said Canadian Gaming Association CEO Bill Rutsey. "This bill will enable sports wagering to occur in safe, regulated environments."

A review of the annual reports of the Criminal Intelligence Services Canada (CISC) indicates that illegal bookmaking exists in all regions of Canada, with organized crime ultimately profiting from the revenue. While the size of the Canadian market is unknown, estimates suggest it is in excess of $10 billion annually.

The growth in wagering on sports through the internet has significantly increased over the past decade, with estimates showing that Canadians wager in excess of $2 billion annually through offshore sports books.

Sports books return approximately 95 per cent of the wagers to bettor in prize payouts.

"The opportunity to offer a true sports book experience in casinos like Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls or Caesars Windsor cannot be overlooked," Rutsey said. "It will provide tremendous tourist opportunities to those communities, and also ensure that our industry and our provincial governments benefit from any wagers made in Canada."

(With files from the CGA)

September 30, 2011 - 10:51 amCome on now, let's not pick

John Carter SAID...

Come on now, let's not pick on governments. Apparently it is their god given right to charge excessive takeout rates and to make all their games unfair. It is also their right to make offshore gaming illegal even though it is the offshore gaming that gives the customers a fair game with reasonable house takeout rates. So my question is who are the real crooks? in my eyes not the offshore places.

September 29, 2011 - 5:24 pmOh Mr Patrick if only it

Oh Mr Patrick if only it will be A wager of $115. to win $100. Sadly it will be the typical OLG takeout (50%) so you will have to wager $200. to win $100. Thieves, government or otherwise, never change!!

September 29, 2011 - 1:55 pmDon Patrick This won't

Don Patrick SAID...

Don Patrick

This won't really be good for serious sports bettors. The take will be ridiculously high, just as it is for all agering that is government controlled.

Can you imagine risking $115 to win $100 through the OLG, whereas you can now bet $104 to win $100 through Pinnacle?

September 29, 2011 - 1:02 pmI wouldn't get too excited.

I wouldn't get too excited. Private members bills rarely get passed into legislation. Those introduced by opposition MPs - never. Doesn't matter what party is in power.

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