Those living in Canada who have wanted to be able to gamble legally on single sporting matches, such as basketball, ice hockey or baseball, will get their chance at last, should a bill sponsored by an MP and Conservative Senator make it into law. The bill has strong industry and political backing, but has yet to fully win over the public. There is still a large discourse over whether it should be allowed or not, but it is almost silly because so many loopholes exist that it is basically allowed right now.
Changing and Simplifying the Law
The private members bill, which Senator Robert Runciman has thrown his weight behind, seeks to change the Criminal Code to permit consumers to gamble on single sporting matches. At the moment, they are only allowed to bet on a series, meaning at least two games, a situation which many regard as an antiquated quirk of law. Indeed, Runciman has stated that his support for the bill is based on the fact that “anyone who wants to bet on a football or hockey game is already doing it.”
Possible Job Creation
Aside from simplifying the law with regards to sports betting, the bill has also been supported by many within the sports gambling industry – including the Lucky Nugget online casino – on the basis that it will lead to more jobs within this sector. The online casino has backed up this argument using a report published in 2011 by the Canadian Gaming Association, which indicates that legalizing single game gambling would increase the revenue brought in by the Niagara Falls and Windsor border casinos to around $250 million, while creating 250 new jobs. This has also ensured the support of the Windsor MP, Joe Comartin, who believes it will provide economic benefits for his constituency.
Despite strong enthusiasm for the bill within the gambling sector however, opinion amongst the general public in Canada has so far remained ambivalent. Harris/Decima recently conducted an opinion poll survey of 1000 people, which showed that the percentage ‘for’ and ‘against’ the bill was evenly split at 35% each, with the remaining 30% undecided.
What are your thoughts? Should this loophole be fixed and gaming be allowed?