Windsor

U.S. sports betting puts Canada in 'defensive' mode, says Windsor MP

Windsor-West MP and long-time proponent of single-sport betting, Brian Masse, discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize betting on sports for all states.

U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that bars gambling on sports in most states

Since 1992, Nevada has been the only state where a person can wager on a single game. That will now change.

Big changes are coming for gamblers in the U.S.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, giving states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

Since 1992, Nevada has been the only state where a person can wager on a single game.

Brian Masse is the NDP MP for Windsor West, and he has spent years trying to bring single-sports betting to Canada. His latest attempt was in 2016.

Brian Masse is a long-time proponent of bringing single-sport betting to Canada. (File Photo)

"It was due to come," he said.

"The reality is that single-event sports betting is taking place on phones, in bars, backyards, and a number of different ways that are done even through illegal or nefarious operations overseas."

Masse said there have been several attempts to legalize single-event sports betting on this side of the border, but the political will was never there to see it through.

"Now we are left in very much a defensive mode in Ontario and in other parts of the country," said Masse. "But in particular here on the borders where we compete against  the U.S.— and the U.S. states will be eager at this." 

Masse said that some of the states bordering Ontario have legislation in the works to bring this kind of gambling to their state. 

Tourism might take a hit, according to Masse.

"Whether it be Michigan or whether it be New York and other places, they'll have another product in the mix for their casinos and their entertainment industry that we won't have."

Masse said he's concerned Canada will deal with the negative repercussions, such as gambling addiction, of illegal offshore betting and legal single sports betting in the U.S.

"They get the benefit, we get the social consequences, and that's just not good public policy," said Masse.

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