The Canadian Gaming Association is crying foul that another Superbowl will come and pass with no new action on Bill C-290. The legislation, which would allow provinces to legalize single game sportsbetting, has sat idly in the Senate for nearly two full years.
Las Vegas casinos predict the Superbowl will generate $90 million in betting activity, as well as provide the casinos themselves with another $150 million from the inflow of tourists over Superbowl weekend. Canadian casinos, on the other hand, will lose out on the hundreds of millions in Superbowl bets.
Single game sportsbetting is illegal at Canadian casinos, which is why millions of players bet at online casinos based in offshore jurisdictions. The CGA estimates that Canadians bet $14 billion on online sportsbooks every year, and that $26 billion has been lost to the Canadian economy since Bill C-290 arrived in the Senate. Comparatively, only $500 million was bet on multiple games inside Canadian casinos.
Bill Rutsey, President of the CGA, says criminal organizations use illegal betting domains to profit from the outdated sportsbetting laws. Rutsey believes the Senate’s refusal to address Bill C-290 supports these criminal elements.
“As I’ve warned before, inaction by the Senators only serves to fuel organized crime and offshore bookmakers, because they are the ones who profit from unlawful single-event wagering.”
With Parliament back in session, the CGA is increasing pressure to finally address Bill C-290, particularly with the Superbowl about to come and go. The CGA is repeating arguments that legalizing single game bets in Canadian casinos would provide the economy with new streams of revenue, as Canada’s gambling sector would hold a distinct local advantage over the US.
The current sportsbetting law requires Canadians to bet on the Superbowl, along with two other big games in the NHL, the NBA, or sports leagues overseas. Rutsey says the traffic to online betting domains is proof that Canadians are tired of the old system, and that maintaining the status quo simply increases the losses to the Canadian economy.
“Bill C290 has the full support of the provinces and will give lottery corporations the tools to offer single event sports wagering in a safe and lawful manner, create jobs, help the economy, and fight criminal activity. We’re not giving up until the Senate does the right thing and passes the Bill.”