U.S. overturning ban on sports betting means Canadian gaming could fall behind; experts

A U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a decades-long ban on sports betting might make it even harder for Canada’s gaming industry to compete, experts say.

The Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in a 6-3 ruling on Monday, a decision which several organizations quickly encouraged Canada to mimic. PASPA was first enacted in the U.S. in 1982, and over a dozen U.S. states have since enacted legislation to allow sports betting.

The Canadian Gaming Association, whose been involved in two previous attempts to amend Canada’s Criminal Code to allow single-event sports wagering, hailed the decision as a sign that the Canadian government should reverse its domestic ban on sports betting.

“Canadians are wagering in excess of over $4 billion per year, through offshore online sites. And an additional $10 billion through organized crime essentially. And they’ve chosen those routes because that’s the product they want,” said Paul Burns, president of the Canadian Gaming Association.

In addition, another bill was tabled before the Trudeau government, but due to what Burns cites as “political reasons,” the bill was defeated early on in the House of Commons. Beyond national amendments, Canadian provinces (who’ve had jurisdiction over gaming since 1985) also requested an amendment to the Criminal Code seven years ago, which would have provided greater regulatory oversight and control to sports wagering to protect consumers, athletes and the integrity of sport.

In addition, another bill was tabled before the Trudeau government, but due to what Burns cites as “political reasons” the bill was defeated early on in the House of Commons. Beyond national amendments, Canadian provinces (who’ve had jurisdiction over gaming since 1985) also requested an amendment to the criminal code seven years ago, which would have provided greater regulatory oversight and control to sports wagering to protect consumers, athletes, and the integrity of sport.

However, Burns notes that the request has “fallen on deaf ears.”

Major sports leagues have traditionally come out publicly against the federal legalization of sports betting, often citing “integrity of sport” and an increased risk of match-fixing as reasons for objections.

The NFL, for example, has strongly resisted the motion.

The league has asked Congress to implement a “core regulatory framework” for sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4208473/u-s-sports-betting-ban-canadian-gaming/