The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has welcomed this week’s announcement by the National Hockey League (NHL) on its first sports betting partnership with MGM Resorts International. In a statement to the press, the association said: “The NHL’s decision to establish this partnership with the gaming industry in the United States will bring an exciting new level of engagement for NHL fans both in arenas and casino sports books across America.

“The CGA welcomes this partnership and invites the NHL to work with Canada’s gaming industry to bring about the legislative changes necessary to offer this same level fan experience to Canada.  Canada has had legal parlay sports wagering for decades. To remove the prohibition on single-event wagering, a simple amendment to repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code is required.”

The CGA went on to cite Canadians as being “…without question the world’s most passionate hockey fans and want new ways to engage with their favorite sport”. By working cooperatively with Canada’s gaming industry, the NHL can, said the association, make single-event sports wagering a reality for Canadian hockey fans.

Paul Burns, president and CEO of the CGA, commented: “This is an excellent example of the type of relationship the Canadian gaming industry is looking for with professional sports leagues. We know that Canadians enjoy single-event sports betting because they are wagering approximately $14bn annually through illegal channels. We invite the NHL to work with our gaming industry to bring about the changes required to realize the full economic potential of single-event sports wagering in Canada – and give Canadian fans the same experience as their US counterparts.”