The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has slammed senators for failing to pass a bipartisan bill that would legalize single-event sports betting across the country.
C290 in Limbo
Bill 290 passed the House of Commons with cross-party support in March, and is backed by the CGA, nine provinces and most provincial lottery organizations. However, the Senate has delayed action on the bill and failed to pass it with a majority before the beginning of summer recess last week.
The bill is a simple amendment to the Criminal Code to permit wagering on the outcome of single sporting events. Currently, Canadians are only permitted to make parlay bets (a combination wager on the outcome of three or more events), although these have never really become popular in the country.
“Continued shameful inaction and procedural delaying tactics by the Senators only serves to fuel organized crime and illegal offshore bookmakers, because they are the ones who profit from illegal single-event wagering,” CGA CEO Bill Rutsey said, adding that tens of billions of dollars are leaving Canada and ending up in the hands of criminals.
“What we are witnessing, unfortunately is an unaccountable Senate that prefers to debate the morality of gaming and not the dangerous status quo that they are in no hurry to fix,” Rutsey argued. “While they waste time questioning where or not people should gamble…we watch more money leave the country.”