Supporters of single game sportsbetting reform in Canada got a boost from a senior government official this week. Bal Gosal, who is a representative from the GTA and serves as Minister of State for Sport in the federal cabinet, supports a proposal to legalize single game sportsbetting.
As the government representative responsible for providing Canadians opportunities to develop their skills in sport, Gosal carries a significant amount of influence in the ongoing sportsbetting debate in Canada. The Minister’s comments suggest a rift in the Conservative government caucus, as it was Conservative Senators that chose not to pass Bill C-290 – the bill to legalize single game bets, earlier this year.
Gosal says it is undeniable that millions of dollars are wagered at online casinos and sportsbetting domains based outside of Canada, money that is lost to the Canadian economy. The Minister believes legalizing single game bets would allow more money to be invested in amateur sports leagues to help more Canadian children get involved in their favourite games.
However, Gosal believes a more comprehensive review is required before authorizing single game betting. He says the practice is successful at sportsbooks in Las Vegas, but points out that European single game bets resulted in one of the largest match-fixing scams in the entire world.
“I know it’s already in Vegas but before we go ahead in Canada it’s better to really do the study to find out if it’s well worth it in the long-term or if it’s going to create problems.”
The Minister’s remarks will likely be used by pro-sportsbetting reformists to support their cause of passing Bill C-290. The legislation has remained stuck in the Senate for nearly two years despite near unanimous support from the House of Commons.