Joe Comartin, a member of the Canadian Parliament from the New Democratic Party, recently introduced legislation in the House of Commons to legalize single-event sports wagering.
According to a statement from the Canadian Gaming Association, “Sports wagering, estimated to be in excess of $10 billion annually, is arguably the single most popular form of gambling for Canadians. However, only $450 million of that is wagered through the current legally regulated provincial sports lottery products.”
Bill Rutsey, the association’s chief executive officer, said, “The reality is that Canadians are wagering on sports predominantly through illegal means either with bookies or online. This bill will enable sports wagering to occur in safe and regulated environments.”
Currently, constituents in Windsor MP Joe Comartin’s district travel to Detroit to gamble, he said. If his legislation passes, individual provinces could approve single-event sports betting.
“Canada has enjoyed legalized parlay-style sports wagering for many decades, but the current restriction that prohibits wagering on a single sporting event does not reflect the modern reality for sports bettors. With the passage of this bill, Canadians will have a legal and regulated product for wagering on the individual sporting events of their choice,” said the association’s statement.