The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has given its backing to a call made by Windsor West Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello to amend the criminal code to enable single-event sports betting. The association said it agreed with her comment that “there is no reason to hold back on this initiative.”

Responding to her statement this week, President and CEO Paul Burns said: “We are thrilled to have Ms Pupatello’s support and call on all parties to fight for the simple amendment that provinces requested 10 years ago that would benefit places like Windsor. This change would give provinces the tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians while helping economic benefits, such as jobs, flow to communities and provincial governments.”

The CGA noted that Canadians already enjoy sports betting, as evidenced by circa $10bn of wagering that takes place annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime organizations. 

Additionally, it said, more than $4bn is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites. Currently, only $500 million is wagered through legal provincial sports lottery products offered to Canadians, which means many people are betting through illegal and often dangerous means.

Burns concluded: “Let us not lose sight of how one small change can drive enormous benefits to the Canadian gaming industry, Canadian communities, as well as Canadians, who just want to be able to bet on the outcome of the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, or World Series. The CGA has been advocating for single-event sports wagering for a decade. With all party support and assistance from our federal government, its time has come.”