Last summer, Canadian MP Joe Comartin, of Windsor-Tecumseh, introduced Private Member’s Bill C-290 to Parliament. This bill seeks to legalize wagering on a single sport event or athletic contest, which would repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code.

On May 16th, bill C-290 passed the second reading in Senate, and is expected to become law as early as this summer.

Woodbine Entertainment Group has expressed its support of this initiative and has suggested that should the bill pass, this newly legalized form of betting should be allowed at Woodbine and Mowhawk racetracks.

Comartin has been reported as saying that casinos such as those at Windsor and Niagara Falls would be logical locations, along with Woodbine.

Comartin’s website lists the following facts related to the gaming industry:

• The gaming industry supports more than 135 000 jobs in Canada
• Generate $9 billion in revenue for government and community programs and services
• Would make up to 100 million US residents within a 6 hour drive to a Canadian gaming operation a unique product (currently only available in Las Vegas)
• No other states have legal, single-event gaming operations
• Illegal gambling in Canada is in the range between $10.0 billion and $40.0 billion (Source: US National Gambling Impact Study)
• My bill would allow the provinces to police this unregulated market, and in so doing, reduce the influence of organized crime

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