Fate of punters in hands of law

This image shows a baseball and two remote controllers

This image shows a baseball and two remote controllersMany Canadians jumped for joy when Sandra Pupatello, a candidate in Windsor West, said she and the Liberal party would be pushing for legislation that would make single sports betting legal in Canada. Currently, the practice is outlawed by Canada’s Criminal Code, although people can place parlay sports wagers through lotteries run by the government, such as Ontario’s OLG. The ban on single sports betting began more than 100 years ago, and was made because of the government’s concern over fixing of matches. Canada’s ban is not an altogether surprising ban, and many other countries implemented similar laws. But as more and more countries have moved to repeal such bans — most notably the United States — Canada feels like it is currently behind the eight ball.

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Why the nation is pushing for single wagering

The push to legalize single sports betting in Canada is nothing new. There have been two recent attempts to overturn the country’s ban on it, but both efforts failed. Joe Comartin, the NDP MP, had a bill pass through the House unanimously, but then it died in the Senate, which is led by Conservatives. Brian Masse of the NDP tried as well, but it was denied in the House of Commons by the Liberal Majority there.

So what makes Pupatello’s efforts seem promising? First and foremost, Canada’s neighbor to the south, the United States, overturned a decades-long ban on single sports wagering in their country in May 2018. The new rules in America basically put the decision in the hands of each state to decide whether to legalize sports betting and in what forms.

The biggest concern for Canada in this regard is that several border states — with casinos real close by — have legalized sports betting. Pupatello and others who are in favor of legalizing single sports betting in Canada point to this as a significant threat to Canada’s gambling income. If Canadians can easily travel across the border to gamble on single sports, then they may choose to take all their gambling action there as well.

Most notably, casinos in New York are only about 10 minutes from Cornwall, Ontario. In Michigan, which has casinos in Detroit only minutes from Windsor, lawmakers are considering legalizing single sports wagering as well. Until then, you can have a look at the following bookmaker.

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The push to catch the country up

Pupatello and other supporters say the time has already passed for Canada to legalize single sports wagering in the country. With the U.S. way ahead — and states aggressively passing new laws — the concern is that Canada will continue to fall way behind the eight ball if legislators don’t act fast. There isn’t as much concern from professional sports leagues with regard to single sports betting as there was the last time Canada tried to legalize the practice, too.

In all, Pupatello says Canada needs to put the decision in the hands of the provinces, as the country is losing loads of money now by not doing so. In fact, the Canadian Gaming Association estimates that $40 billion each year is being bet in underground means on single sports wagers.

Not only is that a lot of money to be capitalized on, but legal sports betting would also create thousands of new jobs across the country, and could result in about $1 billion for all the provinces. To get in on the sports betting action, check out one of the online sportsbooks below.

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