Last week, Dalton McGuinty announced that the province of Ontario would launch its own online gambling website within the next few years. The announcement sparked a great deal of controversy, as MMA fans took to Twitter to voice their concerns about the government’s hypocrisy for continuing to ban UFC and other forms of Mixed Martial Arts in the province.
Now, the government has announced that MMA fighting will be legalized in Ontario, and fighters, promoters and fans can thank the online gambling industry for the victory.
While some may call it a “slippery slope”, online gambling actually opened the door for the legalization of MMA fighting. Had Dalton McGuinty not considered the option of launching a state-run online casino, attention would not have brought to the fact that MMA is still unjustly banned from the province.
Like online gambling, legalizing MMA would provide Ontario’s economy with a much-needed additional revenue stream. According to the Minister of Consumer Services, a single MMA event in Ontario could attract an audience of more than $30 000 people and produce $6 million for the economy.
Online gambling is predicted to generate nearly $50 million per year. Together, the legalization of both activities could be enough to eliminate the provinces multi-billion dollar deficit within the next few years. While many people are concerns about the adverse effects of these decisions, the fact remains that they would benefit the province and its people at large.