Police Raid on Illegal Sports Betting Operation Further Demonstrates Need for Passage of Bill C290
Debate Continues on Bill C290 as Senate Returns February 5
TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ – Last night’s raid by the Combined Forces
Special Enforcement Unit on a private Super Bowl party in York Region
highlights one more time why the Senate of Canada needs to take action
and pass Bill C290 to permit legal single event sports wagering
opportunities for Canadians.
“What we now have learned is that this party was just one part of a
sophisticated organized crime operation taking millions of dollars in
sports wagers, the proceeds of which are used to fund other illegal
operations of organized crime” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian
Right now Canadians have no legal option to place wagers on single
sporting events. It is estimated that over $10 Billion annually is
wagered through illegal book making operations in Canada and an
additional $4 billion wagered through offshore online sports wagering
Bill C290 was introduced as private members bill in November 2011 and
was passed by the House of Commons with all party support in March of
2012. Eight provincial governments support Bill C290 across Canada.
The Senate resumes third reading debate on Bill C290 on February 5. If
approved, the bill would give people a better option than turning to
illegal bookmakers or offshore operators to place bets by amending the
criminal code to permit the provinces to offer a single event wager.
The CGA points to the fact that Canada’s law regarding sports betting is
outdated and developed before the world knew what the Internet was. It
needs to be updated to offer a safer environment for Canadians who
choose to participate in sports betting.
“We are now at the stage where we can talk about lost opportunities for
communities across the country – such as economic development,
employment, and most of all, protection of players,” added Mr. Rutsey.
“Our current sports betting laws date back to the 1960s when the world
was a very different place. It should be a no-brainer to amend the
legislation to allow Canadians to place a bet without having to combine
it with additional outcomes or seek out nefarious means.”
About the Canadian Gaming Association
The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association 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.
Visit our website at www.canadiangaming.ca and find more about the CGA.
Background on Bill C-290
Bill C290 was introduced in the House of Commons on September 28, 2011
It was debated and passed second reading on November 1, 2011 – it was
referred to the House Justice Committee, which held it’s hearing on
February 16, 2012.
On March 2, 2012 third reading debate was held and the bill received
unanimous consent. The Bill has had support from all Parties in the
House of Commons.
The Federal Minister of Justice has received letters from five
provincial governments requesting the criminal code be amended to
permit single event sports wagering. Letters were received from the
governments. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Ontario. The provinces of Quebec, PEI and New Brunswick have also
indicated support for the amendment
Sports Wagering in Canada
Canada has had widespread sports wagering offered by provincially owned
gaming corporations for well over twenty years.
It is estimated Canadians are spending approximately $10 billion
annually on sports wagering – Approx $500M is spent on the legal sports
wagering products offer by provincial gaming products such as Sports
Select or Proline.
It is estimated that $4 Billion is being wagered annually through
offshore online sports books and close to $5 Billion is being wager
through illegal bookmaking operations and organized crime in Canada.
It is a sports wagering product Canadians are seeking out and Provincial
gaming corporations are wanting to off a legal, regulated single event
sports wagering product to Canadians.
A case study prepared by HLT Advisory for the Canadian Gaming
Association estimates that a competitive legal sports book that offered
single-event wagering could potentially generate primarily from the US
market about $70.0 million in wagering (or $3.6 million in win) in
Windsor and about $35.0 million (or about $1.7 million in win) in
Niagara. These estimates are consistent with the average results of
sports books in Las Vegas.
In addition to sports book win, incremental gaming win and incremental
non-gaming or ancillary revenue could also be generated due to the
sports book. HLT estimates that between $18.0 and $24.0 million in
gaming win and between $5.0 and $7.0 million in ancillary revenue could
be generated at Caesars Windsor. HLT estimates that between $9.0 and
$12.0 million in gaming win and about $3.0 million in ancillary revenue
could be generated at the Niagara Casinos.
In total, a sports book offering single-event sports wagering could
potentially generate incremental revenue of between $27.0 and $35.0
million in Windsor and between $13.0 and $17.0 million in Niagara, the
majority of which would be earned from US customers. Utilizing the
results of the 2010 Economic Impact of the Canadian Gaming Industry
Study (which utilized the Statistics Canada Input-Output Model) this
incremental business could support/sustain up to 150 jobs (full-time
equivalent) in Windsor and up to 100 jobs (full-time equivalent) in
Niagara. Given that both casinos currently have capacity to accommodate
increased business levels, it is likely that the introduction of a
sports book would help to protect existing employment levels.
Greater Oversight and Regulation
A regulated and transparent single event sports wagering system in
Canada will provide greater oversight of sports wagering that will
protect customers and give sports league an enhance tool to ensure the
integrity of games.
The alternative to not passing this legislation to leave single event
sports wagering in hands of offshore bookies and organized crime.
The statements made by the foreign professional sports leagues fail to
recognize that significant wagering on their games exist today and the
opportunity to have greater oversight and regulation should be welcome.
SOURCE Canadian Gaming Association
Image with caption: “Canadian Gaming Association (CNW Group/Canadian Gaming Association)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130205_C3091_PHOTO_EN_23322.jpg