Windsorites show support for provincial push to bring single sports betting

Ontario's finance minister is asking for the Criminal Code to be amended to allow for single sports betting.

Vic Fideli wants to amend the Criminal Code

There are eight states that allow single sports betting in the U.S. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ontario finance minister Vic Fideli's push for single sports betting to become legal in Canada is applauded by some Windsorites.

Fideli sent a letter to the federal finance minister, asking to amend the Criminal Code to legalize it. Currently people in Ontario can bet legally but they must bet on a minimum of three games.

They also need to get all three correct in order to win.

Alyssia Angeles said the current system isn't worth it unless you know all the teams.

"To me it's like, I'm wasting a bunch of money on three different types of games when my main is basketball," she said.

Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin says allowing single sports betting would mean offering more options for people. (Michael Hargreaves/CBC)

For Alex Reibling, allowing single sports betting would mean the community can get some of that money invested into the area.

"People are going to bet and they're likely going to bet on one of these online websites where they're based in another country," he said. "And that country's going to make the markup off that bet."

That argument was echoed by Fideli in his letter.

"Canadian consumer spending on U.S. casino or illegal internet sports betting provides no return or value to provincial governments or gaming operators," wrote Fideli.

Last spring, the U.S. allowed states to make single sports betting legal and eight states, including Michigan, have legalized it.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse says Canada needs to play catch up with the U.S. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin said legalizing single sports betting would strengthen Caesars, a local business.

"We're for it," he said. "It would bring a different attraction and a different aspect to the gaming situation here in Windsor, so it's definitely something that would be supported here locally."

Windsor West MP Brian Masse, who has spent years trying to bring single sports betting, said Canada is late and moving it forward will be good for tourism.

"And the mere fact that you can do this on your phone and finally parliament decides to do something ten years later is really interesting, it needs to be done," Masse said.

If single sports betting becomes legal, Elijah Davis predicts people will bet more — partly because they'd be "more comfortable betting."

"At the end of the day, it's their own choice. They know the risk of betting. It's just like the casino," said Davis.

"People know going in there they might walk out broke, but they still go."

With files from Sanjay Maru


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