Between October 4, 2012 and October 24, 2012, the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs of the Parliament of Canada held a series of hearings related to Bill C-290, an act that would allow single-game sports wagering in the country.  The bill, titled “an Act to amend the Criminal Code (Sports Betting)”, would amend the Criminal Code by removing the current ban on single-game sports wagering in Canada.

The bill was first offered to the Canadian House of Commons by Joe Comartin, a Member of Parliament representing Windsor-Tecumseh, in February of 2011. In introducing the bill, Mr. Comartin stated that “this is a very important bill from this perspective. That industry is very big, and it is entirely controlled by organized crime at the present time, both here and in the United States…there is widespread support for this bill, and I am seeking support from all members of Parliament when it comes up for second reading.” According to the Canadian Gaming Association, currently there is upwards of $10 Billion in sports betting going on in Canada, only $450 Million of which is considered legal.

If passed, the bill would repeal s.200(4)(b) of the Criminal Code which prohibits placing monetary bets on “a single sporting event or athletic contest.” Currently sports wagering in Canada takes places through provincial government products such as Sport Select and ProLine. The passage of C-290, however, is anticipated to also open the market for additional online gaming opportunities. In advocating for the bill, Mr. Comartin has claimed the potential for the creation of new jobs within the gaming industry to accommodate for the increased number of sports wagers that would be authorized under the new law.

 

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