[image credit : Piqsels]
The Canadian Gaming Association has instituted a counter on its C290NOW.ca website in order to help gauge the amount of money being illegally wagered through offshore online betting sites.
The organisation supports the passage of Bill C-290, which was introduced into the House of Commons as a Private Member’s Bill in February of 2011 by Joe Comartin, a member of the left-leaning New Democratic Party, and is calling on the Senate of Canada bring to the measure to a vote.
If passed, Bill C-290 would delete section 207(4)(b) of the nation’s Criminal Code prohibiting provinces from permitting wagering on ‘any race or fight, or on a single sports event or athletic contest’. The proposed legislation sailed through a House of Commons reading in 2012 although the Senate of Canada is still debating the measure.
“Bill C-290 has been in the Senate of Canada for 469 days and during this extended period of time Canadians have gambled nearly $18 billion through illegal offshore online sportsbooks or local bookmaking operations controlled by organised crime,” said Bill Rutsey, Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Gaming Association.
“Canadians clearly want a legal alternative. By not passing Bill C-290, the Senate is preserving the status quo [and] essentially forcing Canadians to turn to unregulated Internet sites and criminals. Why some Senators are opposed to regulating this activity is baffling.
‘We are not giving up the fight to offer regulated single event sports wagering. C290NOW.ca is getting good traction and the counter has been added to drive home the point [that] Canada can’t afford to say no to Bill C-290. So Senators, get off your duffs and put the focus on something other than you for a minute. Pass this bill, protect Canadians and give our border communities a reason to celebrate.”
Bill C-290 has drawn additional support from eight provinces along with numerous provincial and regional chambers of commerce, economic development committees, mayors and local regulators.
“I fully support Bill C-290 because Canadians should be allowed to make fair wagers in safe, secure and regulated environments,” said Michael Graydon, President and Chief Executive Officer for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
“Canadian lottery jurisdictions need a level playing field. We need the opportunity to protect our players and ensure the hundreds of millions of dollars currently heading offshore stays in Canada to the benefit of our communities.”
Canadians are currently only permitted to make parlay bets involving at least three events.