Super Bowl bet statistics show it’s time for Canada to legalise sports betting
CANADIANS spent millions of dollars betting illegally on who will win the Super Bowl on Sunday.
With no legal single-event wagers available to Canadians, sports bettors were again forced to either bet with illegal gangs or visit one of the many offshore online sportsbooks that service Canada.
Nearly all of Canada’s casinos are on record saying sports betting should be legalised and regulated immediately, while even anti-gambling types say it makes sense to regulate the industry properly to stop criminal behaviour.
While there is little urgency from the Trudeau Liberal government on the matter, the successful rollout of sports betting in the USA, where 10 states have already authorised it and another 15 are close to giving it the green light, should strike fear into our border casinos.
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With over 5000 miles of border separating Canada and the USA, the convenience of ducking over to one of the many states with, or soon to have, sports betting, which include Michigan and New York, could see thousands of jobs and many businesses under threat at Canadian casinos.
The American Gaming Association released research last week that showed 63% of Americans support the decision to overturn the federal ban on sports betting, while 80% of those surveyed said they wanted legal sports betting in their state.
“The results of this research are overwhelmingly clear: consumers want legal sports betting, they believe it should be regulated by state and tribal governments and they don’t think the leagues should get a cut,” vice president of the American gaming Association Sarah Slane said.
“This weekend, 23 million Americans will wager a staggering $6 billion on the Super Bowl. To put that in perspective, Americans will bet around the same amount on this one event as they bet legally in all of 2018.”
While Canada does not have the population of the USA and probably has slightly less interest in the Super Bowl, it is fair to guess that a great deal of money was wagered illegally on the New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams contest.
Wouldn’t it be much smarter to offer legal single event sports betting in Canada for a whole host of reasons, including the government’s taxes, protecting jobs and also being able to help those who are deemed to be problem gamblers?
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