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Need for oversight not diminished; $14 billion wagered illegally by Canadians every year

/EIN News/ -- TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is disappointed with yesterday's defeat of Bill C-221, The Safe & Regulated Sports Wagering Act, by a vote of 156-133 at second reading in the House of Commons.

This vote against Bill C-221 denied representatives from labour, business, sports, and communities the opportunity to engage M.P.s to inform them that the $14 billion wagered illegally by Canadians each year equals lost revenue for government, lost jobs and economic opportunities for communities, and keeps gaming operators and regulators from providing a safe and regulated environment throughout the country.

"I regret that I don't have better news for Canadians," said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. "Those who understand what is at risk, and the benefits that could exist by implementing regulation, are frustrated and dissatisfied by the vote. The scales of justice are badly misaligned where this issue is concerned, and I remain baffled that the Government of Canada can't recognize it too."

Thirty-eight million dollars is wagered illegally every day, and $8.1 billion has been wagered illegally since C-221 was first introduced. This activity will not stop with the Bill's defeat and sadly, it will be offshore online gaming operators and organized crime who continue to profit, not Canadian citizens.

Many opponents of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act assumed that the Bill supported the expansion of gambling, but the opposite is true. Fourteen billion dollars is already being wagered every year in Canada. This Bill was an attempt to regulate, contain, and reduce this illegal activity.

The Safe & Regulated Sports Betting Act is about delivering greater regulation and oversight, protecting the integrity of sport, and ensuring the proceeds of sports wagering go to employee wages and enhanced tax revenue for provincial governments to spend on health care and education, not the Hell's Angels.

The CGA extends its sincere appreciation to Brian Masse, NDP MP for Windsor West; Chris Bittle, Liberal MP for St Catharines; and Gord Brown, Conservative MP for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, for their steadfast support and tireless efforts to get Bill C-221 passed.

"The need for greater oversight and regulation has not diminished", added Mr. Rutsey. "The CGA looks forward to working with Members of Parliament to introduce the necessary legislative changes at the earliest opportunity, in order to thwart the illegal and unregulated sports betting market that continues unabated in this country."

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.

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

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