03/21/2012 : ONLINE SPORTSBETTING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ANTICIPATED (Update)
With a new sports betting bill awaiting only a provincial Senate vote, Paddy Power could be in pole position
A new single wager sports betting bill currently moving through the British Columbia provincial legislature could be good news for online and land gambling group Paddy Power reports the Vancouver Courier newspaper.
The British Columbia provincial government signed a partnership agreement with the Irish gambling group late last year, the newspaper explains, anticipating that a sports betting measure introduced by MP Joe Comartin would safely passage through the provincial legislature.
The bill has done just that and now awaits only the Senate's approval.
Once passed, the law will permit the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to offer provincial punters a better sports betting option on individual events, and could influence other Canadian provinces.
BCLC spokesperson Kim Steinbart told the newspaper this week that the Corporation was focused on enhancing its internet sports betting options on the Playnow website, but she stressed that this was currently within the existing legal framework.
That failed to expand on the agreement with Paddy Power, but observers have pointed out that the Corporation has been cutting costs, with chief exec Michael Graydon talking about "fundamental changes" and Playnow systems being decommissioned, with a "highly specialized architecture" being brought in. That apparently includes a new internet casino management system and could be a clue as to Paddy Power's involvement.