Single-game wagering debate renews this week in Senate

The Canadian Senate is expected to debate bill C-290 to legalize single game wagering this week, possibly as early as Tuesday.

The suddenly controversial bill passed unanimously through the House of Commons but recent fear-mongering from the major pro sports leagues has cast doubt the bill will pass through the Senate and achieve Royal Assent. If that happens, it will mark the first time in Canada's 145-year history that the Senate has killed a bill that was unanimously passed by the House of Commons.

Currently, parlay betting on a minimum of two or three games is legal through provincial sports lotteries in Canada. The Canadian Auto Workers Association, which supports the bill, estimates over $100 million will be bet annually in Ontario alone if the bill passes. 

"Canadians are betting on sports right now. They're betting on single-game sports in very large numbers," said Canadian Gaming Association vice president Paul Burns. "We estimate that $4 billion is being bet offshore through online sports book operations and probably another $10 billion or so bet through organized crime bookie operations."

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson met with the Conservative caucus of the Senate last last week to remind them the government fully supports this bill. Still, several senators feel they have the votes to shoot down the legislation.

"They (the leagues) talk about the integrity of their sport and concern about match-fixing and the like," said Burns. "And what we've said to them is 'why wouldn't you want a regulated environment with gaming regulators and operators and helping you protect the integrity of your sport?'"

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Posted by jk888
1 year ago

the american gaming association estimated the illegal sports betting market in the US to be $380 billion/yr. CNBC ran an article a few years ago estimating it to be $300 billion, in other words a huge black market. the Canadian market is only $3 billion total. it's pathetic that they try and sell the idea that legalizing single game sports betting in Canada will somehow create a game fixing/integrity problem. if it's happening it's already happening. today poor performance is quickly pointed out due to the huge increase in the amount of scrutiny sporting events get (tv, media and social media) making it much more difficult to cheat.
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Posted by vacation
1 year ago

The result fixing issue is a joke. If games were in danger of having fixed outcomes, it would be happening all the time. The sad part is this type of legalized wagering has ZERO chance of passing here in the US. NJ has thrown down the gauntlet. So far, no reaction from the federal government.
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Posted by beshcooper
1 year ago

Who can only wager a single game? I usually have at least 3 going every day.
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Posted by JohnnyJet0023
1 year ago

The answer to any argument AGAINST legalized sports wagering is so simple. If you are worried about urban blight, limit the amount that can be wagered on a particular event. If you are worried about games being fixed or rigged limit the amount that can be wagered on a particular event. No one is going to jeopardize themselves on a wager of say $2500. Nor is anyone going to wind up on the streets for losing say $2500. Just make it happen already!!
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Posted by pjlvio
1 year ago

Governments could make a lot more money off of gambling and legal marijuana and lower all of our tax rates,but nooooooo, they are plain STUPID.......
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Posted by tomnolan
1 year ago

come on people!! millions and millions of people are gambling in one form or another(offshore or bookie) leagalize it already. it will be so much better for the gambler and the government!!
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Posted by winnerwinner99
1 year ago

the government is so stupid...both in Canada and the US...people are gambling illegally all over North America...the numbers are probably ten times what they think they are...if they think 10 billion dollars being gambled illegally...its probably 100 billion....Note to the US/Canadian government: Get ur heads outta ur behind and legalize online gambling/marijuana...tax and regualte dumbasses!
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Posted by habs420
1 year ago

If we fail on the single game wagering, let's give Marijuana another shot.
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Top Response

Posted by habs420
1 year ago

"If we fail on the single game wagering, let's give Marijuana another shot."