03/22/2012 : CANADA SPORT BETTING BILL PASSES SECOND READING IN SENATE (Update)
"Anyone who wants to bet on a football or hockey game is already doing it," says Senator.
A private member's bill launched by Canadian MP Joe Comartin seeking to allow single wager sports betting has passed its second reading in the Senate, having successfully survived the House of Commons.
Ontario Senator Bob Runciman, who has championed the bill in the Senate, told the Vancouver Sun this week that he is confident that it will pass, saying that he hopes to legalise betting on single sporting events, not because he's a fan of gambling, but because "…anyone who wants to bet on a football or hockey game is already doing it.
"It opens a door to the provinces that want to offer (single-event betting), and of course, they would regulate it. It's really giving them an opportunity to bring this into their own jurisdiction," Runciman said, adding that the process has been moving along quickly, although he didn't want to lay out an exact timeline.
Paul Burns, vice-president of the Canadian Gaming Association, agreed, reiterating his organisation's support for the bill.
In a 2011 report by the Canadian Gaming Association, consultants concluded single-game betting would allow border casinos in Windsor and Niagara Falls to bring in as much as an additional $50 million in revenues and to create 250 jobs between the two Ontario cities.
Runciman said he's seen interest from Saskatchewan and, as he told the Senate, from Ontario and British Columbia.
"We will probably see a lot of the provinces be more than willing to provide this opportunity to people who wish to gamble on single-event sports through their province and through their casinos," he said.