The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce hopes there is strength in numbers, teaming up with chambers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces to kickstart the approval of single-game sports betting in Canada.
The chambers, which include the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec, are pushing for the adoption of Bill C-290 which has stalled in the Senate after being unanimously supported in the House of Commons last March.
“The chamber coalition supporting Bill C-290 continues to grow across the country,” Matt Marchand, president and CEO of the Windsor-Essex chamber, told CTV News. “Additionally, two-thirds of Canadian tax payers support legalizing sports betting according to a recent Ipsos Reid poll.”
Canada already allows parlay-style sports betting through its provincial lottery commissions but the approval of single-game wagering would help prevent an estimated $14 billion of untaxed money leaving Canada and going to offshore online sportsbooks, according to Atlantic chamber president Pierre Cadieux.
Opposition from the major sports leagues in Canada (MLB, NHL, and NBA) has swayed the Senate not to quickly pass Bill C-290, claiming that single-game wagering will destroy the integrity of the sports and promote match fixing. If defeated, it would mark the first time in Canada’s 145-year history the Senate failed to pass a bill that was unanimously supported in the House of Commons.
The chambers claim that legal single-game betting will not only reduce the presence of organized crime and illegal sportsbooks but also boost jobs and tourism with U.S. visitors crossing the border to bet on games and events.
“In an era where governments are clamping down on tax evaders and cheats it would seem a no-brainer that to move forward to legalize this type of betting would be a win-win for the Canadian gaming industry as well as for the Canadian tax payer,'' Cadieux told CTV News.
If approved, each province would be able to decide if and how they wanted to present single-game wagering.