12/13/2012 : CANADIANS WANT SINGLE EVENT SPORTS BETTING
 
Latest poll shows that 64 percent of adult respondents want Joe Comartin's bill to pass
 
A significant proportion of adult Canadians support the passage of MP Joe Comartin's Bill C-290, which would legalise single-event sports betting in Canada, the latest Ipsos Reid survey has found.
 
The bill was first introduced in September of 2011 and was passed with the unanimous support of all parties in the House of Commons in March 2012. It is currently under consideration in the Canadian Senate.
 
"Right now, over Cdn$10 billion or more is being wagered through illegal sports betting every year in Canada, and a further Cdn$4 billion is wagered online through illegal offshore betting websites," said Bill Rutsey, president of the Canadian Gaming Association which supports the change to Canadian law.
 
"We need to bring more regulation and enforcement to this otherwise overlooked problem, and that begins with the passage of Bill C-290," he added.
 
The Ipsos Reid study showed that 64 percent of respondents favour the change that would allow wagering on single events.
 
Rutsey said that in addition to having the support of a majority of Canadians, the changes proposed in Bill C-290 have also been supported by 8 of the 10 provincial governments in Canada, who agree that the current framework of laws is outdated and needs to be modernised.
 
Parlay style sports betting (betting on two or more events) has existed in Canada for more than two decades. In recent times, the Federal Minister of Justice has received letters from the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario requesting the criminal code be amended to permit single event sports wagering. The provinces of Quebec, PEI and New Brunswick have also indicated support for the amendment.
 
During recent debate on the bill before a Senate committee, expert witnesses representing the legal, law enforcement, academic, regulatory and problem gambling research and treatment communities, recommended the passage of Bill C-290.
 
Information on the research and methodology of the study completed by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Canadian Gaming Association can be found at www.ipsos-na.com.