Canada’s House of Commons has approved a bill which potentially will allow betting on single sporting events in Canada.
However, due to great pressure from the professional sports industry, it is likely to be defeated in the Senate.
Windsor West MP Brian Masse said that legalising single sports betting would allow regulation and also take the money away from the hands of criminals.
Other supporters of the bill are arguing that it could help boost local business with one study estimating that revenue from bets could reach $40 million a year.
However, Conservative Senator Linda Frum has said that the bill poses a grave danger to sport. She argued that the bill adds “a type of gambling to our menu of gambling that has a particular pernicious aspect to it and that is the danger it poses to the integrity of sport”.
The professional sports community is concerned that the bill could make it easier to fix games. Frum said that the sports leagues associations are “horrified” that the bill was passed by Commons. Last week the NHL said in a statement that “such wagering poses perhaps the greatest threat to the integrity of our games.”
However, even if the bill is defeated in the Senate it still represents a major step for those who advocate it.