The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is today calling on the Senate of Canada to bring Bill C290 to an immediate vote. Their inaction on the bill continues to foster an illegal, unregulated and dangerous environment for Canadian sports bettors.
On June 2 the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake announced its intention to become the actual operator of an online sports wagering site, Sports Interaction, within the Province of Quebec. Operating such a site in Canada is considered illegal under current Canadian law.
“A significant and illegal online sports betting business will soon operate within Canada’s borders,” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “Our Senators’ lack of interest in addressing the issue has enabled criminals and offshore operators, who are not licensed and regulated to do business in Canada, to flourish. This alone cries out for passage of Bill C290 to allow for the proper regulation of single event sports betting.”
The Kahawake Internet server has been used by organized crime bookmaking operations, and was connected to arrests made by the RCMP relating to a Montreal organized crime ring that made more than $26 million in profits during a two-year period.
Fourteen billion dollars is wagered illegally by Canadians each year though offshore Internet sites and illegal bookmaking operations in Canada. , More than $45 billion in illegal wagering has occurred since Bill C290 first moved through the Senate. The CGA is calling on Senators to hold a vote immediately in order to give Canadians a safe, legal and regulated option.