The Canadian Gaming Association announced this week that it has placed a counter on, a website developed specifically to address the debate regarding Bill C290 – An Act to Amend the Criminal Code – Sports Betting, to capture the amount of money being illegally wagered through offshore Internet betting sites and bookmaking operations primarily controlled by organized crime.

Together with provincial lottery corporations that have gathered in Montreal for the annual Canadian Gaming Summit, the CGA is again calling attention to the lack of action by the Senate to bring the bill to a vote.

“Bill C290 has been in the Senate of Canada for 469 days and during this extended period of time, Canadians have gambled nearly $18 billion through illegal offshore online sports books or local bookmaking operations controlled by organized crime,” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “Canadians clearly want a legal alternative. By not passing Bill C290, the Senate is preserving the status quo – essentially forcing Canadians to turn to unregulated Internet sites and criminals. Why some Senators are opposed to regulating this activity is baffling.”

Canadians are currently only permitted to make parlay bets (wagering on the outcome of three or more events). Bill C290 is a simple amendment to the Criminal Code to permit wagering on the outcome of single sporting events.

“I fully support Bill C290 because Canadians should be allowed to make fair wagers in safe, secure, and regulated environments,” said Michael Graydon, President and CEO, British Columbia Lottery Corporation. “Canadian lottery jurisdictions need a level playing field.  We need the opportunity to protect our players and ensure the hundreds of millions of dollars currently heading offshore stays in Canada to the benefit of our communities.”

Bill C290 has the support of eight provinces in addition to provincial and regional chambers of commerce (representing six provinces), plus numerous economic development committees, mayors, and provincial gaming regulators from across Canada. It is now up to the Senate to do the responsible thing and pass Bill C290.

“We are not giving up the fight to offer regulated single event sports wagering,” added Mr. Rutsey. “ is getting good traction and the counter has been added to drive home the point: Canada can’t afford to say ‘no’ to Bill C290.  So Senators, get off your duffs and put the focus on something other than you for a minute. Pass this bill, protect Canadians, and give our border communities a reason to celebrate.”

Canadians wishing to send a letter, fax or email to the Senate are urged to visit

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