Poll: Two-thirds of Canadians support sports betting bill C-290

Dec 17, 2012 |
Two thirds (64 percent) of Canadians believe that the Senate should pass bill C-290 to legalize single-game wagering in Canada, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Gaming Association.

Conversely, 36 percent are of the opinion that the Senate should "defeat the bill and stop it from becoming law". The bill, currently being considered by the Senate, passed a third reading in the House of Commons with unanimous support from all parties and has also received the support of eight provincial governments.

The Senate is now adjourned until February 5 and won't be voting on this issue before then. But a recent and compelling speech by the Hon. Bob Runciman  looks to have swayed opinion in support of the bill. Covers sources now say it appears as though the votes are there to push this bill through.

Seventy-one percent of Canadians who had heard "at least a bit about the bill" before completing the poll now "support" (24% strongly/48% somewhat) it, while only 29 percent "oppose" it (11% strongly/18% somewhat).

Some estimates are that Canadians currently bet in excess of $10 billion on sports annually with illegal bookies and an additional $4 billion annually through offshore online sportsbooks. It is also estimated that only five percent of sports betting in Canada is done legitimately through provincially-regulated betting and lottery systems.

With these staggering numbers in mind, three quarters of Canadians "agree" (22% strongly/52% somewhat) that "legalizing single event sports betting in Canada would allow for greater regulation and oversight of sports betting", while only one quarter (24%) "disagree" that it would.

Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 30th to December 5th, 2012, on behalf of the Canadian Gaming Association. For this survey, a sample of 2,019 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points had all Canadians been polled.

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