Attorney General travels to Niagara Falls casino to announce single sport betting

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Published August 13, 2021 at 8:08 pm

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When Canada’s Attorney General David Lametti came down to Casino Niagara yesterday (August 12), it wasn’t to place a single bet on his favourite sports team.

Although pretty soon, he’ll be able to.

Lametti announced that as of August 27, single event sport betting will officially become legal in Canada.

“Canadians will have the opportunity to participate in single-event sport betting in a regulated and safe environment, at the discretion of the provinces and territories,” Lametti told the news conference.

According to the federal government, Canadians spend about $10 billion a year on single sporting events as part of betting conducted illegally in the black market by organized criminal networks.

An additional $4 billion a year gets spent by Canadians in the so-called grey market, in offshore jurisdictions where such bets are legal.

The new rules have the potential to bring that money back into Canada in a way that it can be monitored and taxed.

Lametti was joined at the conference by St Catharines MP Chris Bittle and Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey.

“Canadians have been able to legally bet on sports for a long time through parlays and this adjustment will allow Canadians to now bet on single events like the Grey Cup or the Super Bowl,” said Bittle.

Bittle added the tourism opportunities this will create are significant.

“Casino Niagara is making a multi-million dollar investment to upgrade their facilities to welcome single event sports betting and create an atmosphere where tourists and locals can legally bet on single events at the casino,” he said.

The law, known as Bill C-218, was a private member’s bill brought forward by Kevin Waugh, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood but despite coming from the opposition, it won support in Parliament from all four main parties.

It received royal assent at the end of June, making it official but the government had yet to attach a date until yesterday.

For his part, Badawey said there were clear benefits to a border city, such as Niagara Falls.

“The safe and transparent decriminalization of single-event sports betting contributes to a safer and stronger Canada,” Badawey said.

“Sports betting that takes place in safe, regulated environments presents a net benefit to our communities because it supports our recreation and tourism businesses while creating quality jobs along the Canada-US border,” he added.

(Photo of David Lametti at Casino Niagara courtesy of Facebook)

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