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Canadian Gaming Association Welcomes Changes to Allow Enhanced Sports Wagering in Canada

Written by:
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Published on:
Sep/30/2011
Canadian Gaming Association

TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Joe Comartin, M.P. Windsor Tecumseh, today introduced an Act to Amend the Criminal Code in the House of Commons to permit single-event sports wagering in Canada.

Sports wagering, estimated to be in excess of $10 billion annually, is arguably the single most popular form of gambling for Canadians. However, only $450 million of that is wagered through the current legally regulated provincial sports lottery products.

Canada has enjoyed legalized parlay-style sports wagering for many decades, but the current restriction which prohibits wagering on a single sporting event does not reflect the modern reality for sports bettors.  With the passage of this bill, Canadians will have a legal and regulated product for wagering on the individual sporting events of their choice.

"The reality is that Canadians are wagering on sports predominantly through illegal means, either with bookies or online," said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. "This bill will enable sports wagering to occur in safe, regulated environments."

A review of the annual reports of the Criminal Intelligence Services Canada (CISC) indicates that illegal bookmaking exists in all regions of Canada, with organized crime ultimately profiting from the revenue. While the size of the Canadian market is unknown, estimates suggest it is in excess of $10 billion annually.

The growth in wagering on sports through the Internet has significantly increased over the past decade, with estimates showing that Canadians wager in excess of $2 billion annually through offshore sports books.

Sports books return approximately 95% of the wagers to bettor in prize payouts.

"The opportunity to offer a true sports book experience in casinos like Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls or Caesars Windsor cannot be overlooked," Mr. Rutsey said. "It will provide tremendous tourist opportunities to those communities, and also ensure that our industry and our provincial governments benefit from any wagers made in Canada."

About the Canadian Gaming Association

The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association is to create balance in the public dialogue about gaming in Canada.

Our members are among the largest most established gaming operators, suppliers and gaming equipment manufacturers in Canada.

Our mandate is to create a better understanding of the gaming industry through education and advocacy.

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