Senate Dithering on C290 Allows Illegal Online Sportsbook to Operate on Canadian Soil

Illegal offshore wagering sites moving onshore

TORONTO, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - 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.

Bill C290 has earned widespread support from nine provincial governments, provincial gaming regulators and operators, municipal governments, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Labour Council, and the Canadian Soccer Association. Since the bill entered the Senate in March 2012, Canadians have wagered more than $45.5 billion illegally on sports. This money heads straight out of the country into the pockets of offshore operators and organized crime operations.

"Senators, there is no longer any sane reason for delay," concluded Mr. Rutsey. "Stop dragging your feet and pass C290 now."

1351 days have elapsed since this Bill C-290 was first introduced in the House of Commons. The bill spent a reasonable 156 days in the House where it was passed unanimously by elected Members of Parliament. It has now been tied up in the Senate for almost 8 times as long as it was in the House, 1191 days.

About the Canadian Gaming Association
The fundamental goal of the Canadian Gaming Association is to create balance in the public dialogue about gaming in Canada.

Our members are among the largest most established gaming operators, suppliers and gaming equipment manufacturers in Canada.

Our mandate is to create a better understanding of the gaming industry through education and advocacy.

Visit our website at www.canadiangaming.ca and find more about the CGA.

SOURCE Canadian Gaming Association

Image with caption: "Canadian Gaming Association (CNW Group/Canadian Gaming Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150611_C7973_PHOTO_EN_17907.jpg

For further information: Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association, (416) 579-3922, pburns@canadiangaming.ca

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