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Ontario on Path to Single-Game Sports BettingPublished March 7, 2012
Senate will now vote on bill to allow wagering on hockey, baseball and other sports
Ontario is on the way to legalizing Las Vegas-style single-game sports betting, thanks to a private member’s bill by NDP MP Joe Comartin to amend the criminal code to allow wagering on hockey, baseball and other sports.
End of Prohibition
Comartin’s bill, which would end the prohibition on betting on a single sports fixture passed the Commons on Friday and now heads to the Senate for final approval. The bill would allow Canadian sportsbooks to take single bets, rather than just the existing Pro-line which requires a bet on three or more games simultaneously.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, who supports the bill, said he had written to the federal government several times to push for such a change. He said Ontarians who like gaming like single-sport wagering, and therefore it should be legalised.
Good News for Casinos
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation CEO Rod Phillips said in reaction to the vote that although there are still important details to work out, the legalisation of single-game wagering would represent good news for local casinos.
The cash-strapped provincial government could use the move as a way to help eliminate a $16 budget deficit. In Windsor alone, it is estimate such a move would generate $70 million in betting each year. Online casinos could be next on the cards, so Ontarians have the freedom to bet at a real venue or on their computer.