Posted 2/14/11 : New Democrat Party politician claims that antiquated laws have pushed the industry underground.
Could there be more liberalisation of Canadian gambling on the horizon? The Toronto Star reports that a member of the New Democrat Party, Joe Comartin, has introduced a private members bill to amend the criminal code and allow people to bet on single sporting events, instead of the current minimum of three.
Comartin says that outdated laws have forced the sports betting industry underground to the detriment of a fair and lawful industry.
"It's silly now. You can bet on three CFL games, but you can't bet on just one," Comartin told the Toronto Star. "Some of this goes back hundreds of years when the King had a problem with his soldiers gambling too much.
"We need to bring it into the 21st century," he said, adding that the law prohibits gambling on a single sporting event, but that doesn't mean Canadians don't do it, only now it’s happening illegally.
"Sports gambling is a multimillion dollar industry which operates underground and [is] unregulated throughout Canada,” Comartin said, citing internet gambling sites as a big part of the problem.
While the federal government can change the laws, it's up to the provinces to regulate gambling and Comartin hopes, if his bill passes, that the provinces would only allow wider sports betting at legitimate casinos and not elsewhere.
The politician represents the constituency of Windsor, which has a large land casino.