Senate out of excuses to pass bill C290

Senators ignore position of leading international sports organizations

TORONTO, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is today highlighting three recent events that underscore the need for the Senate to stop ignoring the facts about sports betting in Canada and pass Bill C290.

  • The International Olympic Committee in a letter to the Government Leader in the Senate reiterated its position that the passage of Bill C290 will bring enhanced transparency and help to improve the integrity of sport.
  • The National Basketball Association has informed the Senate that it no longer opposes legalized sports betting.
  • National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said that if sports wagering were to become more widespread this would not affect the integrity of the game.


"If Senators truly want to combat attempts at match fixing as they claim, they need to get on board with the experts and pass Bill C290," said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. "Sports organizations, law enforcement and regulatory bodies around the world all agree that if you don't know who is betting how much on what, you are powerless to combat attempts to fix matches."

"Consistent with the NBA's current position regarding legalized sports betting in the United States, the NBA is no longer opposed to legalized sports betting in Canada so long as there is an appropriate legislative framework that protects the integrity of the game under strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards." 

NBA Statement to the Senate of Canada's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, June 2015

"The IOC's first and foremost aim is the integrity of sport. This goes hand in hand with having as transparent and well-regulated sports betting markets as possible."

"The aim of Bill C290 is clearly to bring back sports betting to the legal Canadian market. This would consequently bring more transparency which is in line with the objectives of the Council of Europe 'Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions'"

Letter from Friedrich Martens, Head of Integrity Betting Intelligence System, Ethics and Compliance Office, The International Olympic Committee, June 11, 2015

"Senators, you are in no position to refute the wishes of the very organizations you were so concerned with helping," concluded Mr. Rutsey. "Your behaviour is nonsensical and actually enables match fixing to take place in Canada right now. Your only option to protect the integrity of sport is to pass Bill C290 immediately."

About Bill C290

Bill C290 would remove the prohibition on placing wagers on the outcome of a single sporting event. Parlay sports wagering (betting on outcome of more than one event) has been legal in Canada for decades.

Bill C290 has been in the Canadian Senate for 1196 days since it was passed with unanimous consent of the elected MPs in the House of Commons.

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.

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 and find more about the CGA.

SOURCE Canadian Gaming Association

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For further information: Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association, (416) 579-3922,

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