Mar 05

CGA lauds proposal of legal sports wagering bill in Canada.

CGA Lauds Proposal of Legal Sports Wagering Bill in Canada

Everyone paying attention to this topic knew this report was coming. Following a thorough inspection of the document in question, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is throwing its full support behind the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act; a bill introduced last week by Saskatoon-Grasswoods Conservative MP Kevin Waugh.

As its short title implies, the private member bill – officially labeled Bill C-218 – is intended to alter the current state of federal law to permit the most crucial form of sports gambling that is currently prohibited. It would allow bettors to place wagers on a single event or outcome. As things stand now, only parlay wagers are permitted, wherein bettors must correctly predict 3 or more results to win anything.

CGA Lauds Legal Sports Wagering Bill in Canada

For decades, Canadians have been privy to legal sports betting, but not in the way other major countries permit it; particularly the United States, which recently lifted a 26-year blanket-ban on sports betting. The Canadian Gaming Association has been pushing for broader sports wagering laws for years now, and wasted no time backing Waugh’s introduction of a PMB that would do just that.

Paul Burns, Chief Executive Officer of the CGA, comments:

Amending the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports wagering will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians, as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer protection while enabling economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments.”

This amendment will allow us to safeguard the $17.1-billion economic contribution that gaming makes to Canada as well as the 182,500 jobs that support not only individuals but communities. We look forward to working with all political parties to make single-event sports wagering a reality.”

Protecting Consumers in an Industry That Already Exists

As Burns pointed out, single-event sports betting already exists in Canada. With or without the legal approval of the Canadian government, bets are going to be placed. We can let the public go on wagering at offshore internet sports books, and/or with underground bookies of the criminal kind, or we can pass this law to legalize and regulate the activity, creating jobs, boosting the economy, and protecting consumers who are currently placing their wagers on gray and black markets.

If approved, Waugh’s bill – a carbon-copy of NDP MP Brian Masse’s 2016 Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act – would be the simplest of all to enact. All it would take is the addition of the word “or”, and a few taps of the backspace key.

Bill C-218 states its purpose as:

Subsection 207(4) of the Criminal Code is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (a) and by repealing paragraph (b).

That particular portion of the Criminal Code refers to the “definition of a lottery scheme”. If so amended, its reading would change from…

Definition of lottery scheme
     (4) In this section, lottery scheme means a game or any proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g), whether or not it involves betting, pool selling or a pool system of betting other than
          (a) three-card monte, punch board or coin table;
          (b) bookmaking, pool selling or the making or recording of bets, including bets made through the agency of a pool or pari-mutuel system, on any race or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest; or
          (c) for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(b) to (f), a game or proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g) that is operated on or through a computer, video device, slot machine or a dice game.

…to read…

Definition of lottery scheme
     (4) In this section, lottery scheme means a game or any proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g), whether or not it involves betting, pool selling or a pool system of betting other than
          (a) three-card monte, punch board or coin table; or
          (b) (repealed)
          (c) for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(b) to (f), a game or proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g) that is operated on or through a computer, video device, slot machine or a dice game.

The end result would be what Canada’s sports betting enthusiasts have always craved – legal sports wagering on a single event or athletic contest.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Feb 26

Are nay-sayers right to label new Canada sports gambling bill DOA?

Nay-Sayers Label New Canada Sports Gambling Bill DOA

On Tuesday, Ontario’s Windsor-West MP Brian Masse got his wish. For the third time, his CA betting bill, aimed at legalizing single-event sports bets, will be viewed and voted upon in the House of Commons; not because he introduced it himself, but because Conservative MP Kevin Waugh of Saskatoon-Grasswood did it for him. But are the countless sports-loving Canadians who are cheering on their efforts doing so in vain?

As they collectively chant, “Third time’s the charm!”, a larger, arguably more educated group (in the ways of politics, at least) are far from optimistic. In their view, the new Bill C-218, Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, may have a prayer, but not a hope, destined to suffer yet another unceremonious death.

Is New Canada Sports Gambling Bill DOA?

The nay-sayers are certain Masse’s latest shot at a single-event betting law will miss the target, and they do make an awfully convincing argument. It’s not that the government doesn’t support the issue. It’s not that they are unaware of the many benefits it would bring to Canada. Their lack of interest is 100% politically fueled.

The Liberals are not going to support a rival party bill – certainly not while the Tories are right behind them, with hyperbolic jousting sticks and pitch forks, poking and prodding them out of office. You’ll remember, the Liberals lost majority control in the October elections. The Tories are beyond confident that majority rule awaits them, and all it could take is a non-confidence motion such as this to put them their.

Forget that single-event sports betting is what the people want; forget that our neighbor states to the south are legalizing sports gambling as I write this; forget that it would generate taxes, create jobs, and staunch the outflow of $10-$40 billion to criminal bookies and offshore internet sportsbooks. This is about nothing more than government officials grasping at the remnants of political power.

Two Bills Down, One to Go

Masse knows all too well that a rival’s private member bill stands against ridiculous odds. He’s experienced it twice before. He watched former NDP MP Joe Comartin’s 2012 sports betting bill go up in flames in the Senate, despite starting out with a solid, unanimous passing in the House. In 2016, his own attempt – born of the ashes of Comartin’s bill – was looked upon as a mange-ridden hound scampering into the wrong camp.

After eight years of repeated failures, the Windsor-West representative realized his only hope was bipartisan support. That’s exactly what MP Waugh brought to the table when he won an early spot in the PMB lottery, giving him the option to submit a bill from a rival camp that the House must consider.

The fact that Waugh accepted a direct transfer of Masse’s Bill C-218, introducing it to the House of Commons Tuesday morning, gives it the bipartisan favor of NDP and Conservative camps; “a bipartisan effort from the start,” as Masse so confidently put it.

But alas, the boasting of a proud parent is undoubtedly biased. Masse has to know just how long this shot is. If the Liberals lose a confidence motion, every last measure on their docket will suffer a quick and regretful demise. In the eyes of the Canadian public, Liberals are already teetering on the edge of a hot water boiling pot. Masse’s campaign to push a new Canada sports gambling bill might be better served by rubbing elbows in the camps of the future’s more productive political parties.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Feb 10

A Question for the Modern Ages: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

Question for the Modern Ages – Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

A simple question such as this deserves an equally simple answer. In today’s modern age, there are many different types of gambling. It would be easy to convolute the problem with legal jargon and complicated interpretations of the law, but I promise you, I won’t do that.

As an avid enthusiast of online gambling, I’ve spent more than enough time researching the Canadian Criminal Code to understand its meaning. Fortunately for you, as a career journalist in the field, I’d like to think I can translate it in a manner that is as easy as possible to understand.

Q&A: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

The short answer is, Yes!, gambling is legal here in Canada. However, that is a vague question. There are many different types of gambling. I have no idea whether you’re referring to casino gambling, poker games, bingo, sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, raffles, etc.

Most of these are legal in some capacity, with restrictions. In the following sections, we’ll discuss each type of gambling, and just how legal it is.

Note that all of these laws extend into the online gambling realm, at least to some extent. To be thorough, I’ll give you a brief summary of online gambling laws to start.

Legality of Online Gambling in Canada

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada

Online gambling is legal in Canada. Internet gambling sites come in two varieties – Provincialand International. Either way, both are legal.

Provincial online casinos are only available in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and only accept player’s who reside within their respective borders. International online casinos are located offshore, regulated by their own jurisdictions.

So long as an offshore operator does not have a physical presence in Canada (offices or servers on Canadian soil), they are not illegal.

Casino Gambling Laws

Casino games are legal in Canada, so long as they are conducted in a licensed gaming facility, or with a provincial charity-gaming permit. There are more than 100 commercial casinos in the country, from Quebec’s Casino de Montreal, to British Columbia’s Hard Rock Vancouver. We also have tribal casinos, like the Bear Claw Casino in Carlyle, Saskatchewan.

Charities are able to host “casino night” events, where table games like roulette and blackjack can be legally held, so long as the right permits are obtained from their provincial government.

As for online casino gambling, there are hundreds of legal, reputably licensed operators in Europe that accept Canadian players.

Poker Gambling

Poker-based card games are also legal in Canada. A commercial casino, poker room or charity may host poker games, and collect a “rake” (profit) for doing so, as long as they have the correct license or permit. Home poker games are legal, as well, but no rake (profit) can be taken by the host / home owner.

Online poker is also legal, either through provincially or internationally regulated websites.

Bingo Halls / Charity Bingo

Bingo games are among the most popular forms of game-based fund raising in the country. Again, with proper permits, bingo games are perfectly legal. Some Canadian casinos, especially the tribal variety, are famous for hosting organized bingo games.

Online bingo – same as casino and poker – can be done at provincial or international gambling sites.

Sports Betting in Canada

Canadian sports betting laws in 2020 are a topic of great import. As the law stands now, only provincially-run, parlay-style betting is permitted. It is conducted much like a provincial lottery. In fact, some provinces actually call it the Sports Lottery; others call it Pro-Line. In parlay wagering, bettors must select a number of correct picks from various sporting events, and they must all be correct to win anything. The payout is high, but the odds are higher.

It is for this reason that so many Canadian sports bettors are turning to offshore, online sportsbook operators – remember, these are not illegal in Canada – to place single-event bets. There’s a strong push in the federal government to pass a single-event sports betting law, but until that happens – of ever it does – most sports wagering dollars are flowing offshore.

Horse Race Betting

Horse racing is the oldest form of organized, legal betting in Canada. There are tracks all over the map, from B.C. to Nova Scotia. You can place bets at these tracks, at offsite betting locations across the country, or via online racebooks.

Lotteries & Raffles

The second oldest form of legal gambling are the national and provincial lottery games. The first drawings were held in 1973 to help raise money to pay for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. It was a huge success, raising $230 million from 1973-76. Lotteries have been helping to fund government budgets ever since.

Online lotteries are legal in Canada, too. Most of our provinces sell online lottery tickets to drawings, as well as the scratch off variety. Tickets for international lotteries can be purchased from offshore websites.

Raffles are most often held as charitable events; legal with appropriate permits.

Conclusion & Brief Word on Internet Gambling

By now, you should have more than enough information to answer the question; Is gambling legal in Canada? However, before I wrap this up, I have to issue a brief warning about gambling over the internet.

If you do not live in a province where online gambling is locally regulated – or if you choose to gamble at internationally regulated websites – please do so with caution. Not all offshore operators are reputable. Stick to websites that are licensed in major European iGaming jurisdictions, like Isle of Man, Malta or The UK. They are held to the strictest standards, and are considered the absolute safest, most secure operators in the world.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 09

Realistic impact of Canadian online betting with international sites.

The Realistic Impact of Canadian Online Betting with International Websites

It was more than two decades ago now that the online gambling industry skidded across the proverbial tarmac to its launch. Times were far different in the 1990s. Computers, and the internet in particular, were still striving for mainstream household status. Security technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Legal restrictions were virtually non-existent. At that time, everyone who trusted internet gambling enough to partake in its immaturity did so with operators all over the world.

Today, with global online and mobile gambling businesses generating billions of dollars each year, most governments are encouraging – if not legally mandating – residents to do their iGaming with a locally regulated operator. Odds are, if you live in a jurisdiction where internet gaming is legal, your government is taking steps to keep your wagering dollars within their jurisdictional borders.

Canada is one such nation. Every province that delivers a home-grown iGaming service (all but Alberta and Saskatchewan) encourages local play. The difference between Canada and some other jurisdictions, including numerous European and US states, is that Canadians can gamble at any website they wish. In Canada, iGaming is legal for players whether the online casino is locally regulated, or internationally operated. Freedom of choice is fantastic, but as is true of most things in life, every choice you make has an impact.

Canadian Online Betting with Offshore Sites

Our government tells us we should never gamble with offshore websites. So what is it that makes these websites so bad? According to provincial governments, there are three primary problems. We’ll take a look at these claims and dissect the reality of each situation.

#1 No Benefit to Provincial Coffers (True)

First and foremost, offshore sites aren’t providing our provinces with any revenue. The government has stated many times that millions of dollars are flowing offshore due to Canadians gambling with international websites. There’s no arguing with them on this one. They are 100% right.

If you lost $100 at BC’s PlayNow online casino, that money goes to the BC Lottery Corp, which reinvests it back into BC communities. If you lose $100 at Maltese-licensed Royal Vegas Casino, that money never sees the Canadian light of day again.

#2 Lack of Regulation / Player Protection (False)

Canadian provinces say international gambling websites are not regulated, and that they do not protect players from the potential harms of gambling. To address that first point, international gambling sites are, indeed, regulated. They just aren’t regulated here in Canada. The most reputable ones are regulated in European jurisdictions (UK, Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc.), where player protections are actually more strict than Canadian law.

For instance, in the UK, licensees are required to monitor all gambling activity and intervene when at-risk behavior is detected, encouraging players to take a break and think about the potential consequences of their spending. Voluntary self-exclusion and deposit limits can be set by players. Regular software audits and fairness certification is mandatory. This is hardly different from the GameSense program promoted by most Canadian provinces.

#3 Offshore Gambling Sites are Illegal (False)

On several occasions, our provincial government’s have gone so far as to say international gambling websites are illegal. Anyone with a basic understanding of the English language, and the patience to read the relevant text in the Criminal Code, knows that’s not true.

Online casinos games, poker games, bingo games, etc. – these are not illegal. We can play them at Canada’s land-based casinos, as well as some of the nation’s provincial online casinos, so long as we are physically located in the province that offers them. We can also play them at international gambling websites, despite those claims.

Province’s like to call them illegal because it is illegal for them to offer some of those games. Take single-event sports betting for example. The Criminal Code says single-event sports betting cannot be authorized or presented to Canadians. It is illegal to do so. However, the law does not states Canadians can place single-event sports bets. The penalty of law lies with the receiver of the bettor, not the placer of the bet.

Offshore betting sites are not bound by Canadian law. If single-event sports betting is permitted in the country that regulates the website, it can be offered to Canadian players without consequence. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for Canadians to bet on sports, so long as the bets are placed with an international sportsbook.

What’s Better – Domestic or International iGaming?

That is a question that can only be answered by the person doing the gambling. If your home province offers an iGaming website that meets all of your needs and wagering desires, by all means, utilize its services. At the least, your losses will go back into the community. If you want more from your iGaming experience, so long as you only gamble at reputable, strictly regulated websites, you will be perfectly protected, and are not doing anything illegal.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 16

Court of Appeals decides GotSkill’s skill-based games are gambling, therefore illegal in Ontario.

Games of skill versus games of chance – is there really that much of a difference? Ontario Superior Court Justice Andras Schreck thought so last year. Turns out, he was wrong. The Court of Appeals overturned his decision this week regarding a collection of popular skill-based gaming cabinets from the company GotSkill.

The new decision is not being taken lightly – not by the executives at GotSkill, nor the owners of more than two hundred local bars and clubs where the games were installed. Despite their outrage, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done, except for removing the now illegal games, of course. According tot he appellate court’s decision, GotSkill has no grounds to appeal this decision, making it unquestionably final.

GotSkill’s Skill-Based Games are Gambling in Ontario

Ontario Appellate Court says GotSkill's Skill-Based Games are Gambling, Illegal

If you’re one of the countless fans of GotSkill’s gaming cabinets, present throughout locations all over the province, don’t be surprised if these games are missing from your favorite bar or restaurant the next time you visit. Following a legal battle that’s been ongoing for more than a year now, the machines have been declared to be in violation of Ontario’s gaming laws.

According to the Court of Appeals, Justice Schrek made one critical error in his evaluation of the company’s SkillBet cabinets last year. He had determined that players of superior skill would be capable of beating the game, winning more money from the games then they paid to play them. Based on this assumption, he decided that they did not fall under the definition of a game of chance, therefore were not illegal.

The Appellate Court disagreed with this theory based on the fact that only those of exceptional skill could consistently beat the games. The average player, on the other hand, would be reliant more on chance than skill to win, thus losing more than they win. Therefore, the amusements could only be defined as games of chance.

When the appeal was filed earlier this year, GotSkill was confident that another ruling would go in their favor. They weren’t the only ones, either. Many more bars chose to install the skill-based gaming cabinets, while some retailers who already offered the games upped their number of installments by 2-3 times. You can imagine their disappointment now, following an unimagined outcome.

Despite its former confidence, GotSkill did state months ago that if the appeal did not return a decision in their favor, it would result in an abundance of job losses for the company. So far, there’s been no word from corporate as their heads are surely still reeling from the news.

Furthermore, the courts have not issued a timeline for removal of the skill-based games from local area bars and clubs. It’s safe to assume the machines will be made inoperable before the month is out.

AGCO Won’t Tolerate Illegal Gambling in Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which filed the appeal back in January, is pleased with this latest turn of events. They feel that their rules in regards to gambling in Ontario are very strict, and must not be violated lest the public well-being be put at risk.

AGCO regulations expressly prohibit gambling in bars and restaurants. Gambling is confined to commercial casinos and charitable gaming venues, all of which must obtain authorization from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). Only First Nations casinos may operate without an OLG license, and even they must abide by certain restrictions.

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Aug 14

The legal NFL sports betting outlook across North America.

The Legal NFL Sports Betting Outlook across North America, Aug. 2019

With the 2019-20 NFL Preseason well underway and the Regular Season fast approaching, we thought it might be a good time to take a closer look at the current legal status of sports betting across the US and Canada. For some it’s legal. For others it’s illegal. And as usual, there are a few in-betweens that require greater explanation.

As many of you know, a cursory glance will cover our situation in the Great White North, so we’ll get to that one first. Our neighbors to the south, however, have a lot more legal fluctuation to deal with these days. Some are even scrambling to get their sportsbooks open before the first official NFL kick-off of the season on September 5, 2019.

Legal NFL Sports Betting in Canada

Above the 49th parallel, the situation has maintained status quo for years. We can bet on sports till the cows come home, but it’s more like buying a lottery ticket. You grab a slip at your local retailer, fill out a series of picks (3 to 6 in most provinces), and hand it to the cashier for purchase. The odds aren’t too appealing, since we’re forced to bet parlay style, where all picks have to be correct or the entire bet is lost.

Yes, straight up betting is still illegal in Canada. But that statement means more than meets the eye. You can’t bet on a single even “in” Canada, but you can bet on a single event at any reputable online sportsbook “outside” of Canada.

That makes two advantages we have over most Americans.

US Sports Betting Laws to Date (Aug 13, 2019)

Following last year’s reversal of PASPA, state governments immediately began legalizing, or debating legalization of, sports betting. So far, 10 states have a lawful sports betting market – some with mobile offerings, some without. They include, in order of implementation:

  • Nevada: Legal since 1949, Nevada was the only state to offer legalized sports betting during the 26-year reign of PASPA (1992-2018). Local sportsbooks are available within most of the state’s casinos. In 2010, mobile sports betting was added, giving punters the ability to place a legal bet from anywhere in Nevada.
  • Delaware: This state’s sports betting laws went into effect the moment PASPA’s 26-year reign ended in May 2018, thanks to a 2009 law giving DE Lottery the right to expand its parlay products. Only PASPA stood in the way. Therefore, upon its repeal, sportsbooks were instantly legal. However, wagers may only be placed at one of the state’s three land-based casinos, Delaware Park, Dover Downs or Harrington Raceway. While mobile sports betting is technically legal, no authorized provider has launched an online or mobile sports betting app.
  • New Jersey: Sports betting was legalized in New Jersey as quickly as the governor could get his signature on the bill. Within 72 hours, the first bets were taken at land-based casinos. By July 2018, online and mobile sportsbooks went live.
  • Mississippi: Legalization of sports wagers had been on the agenda since 2017 in Mississippi. Once legislation was capable of moving forward, it did so, going into effect on August 1, 2018. Like all other forms of gambling in the state, sports betting is limited to physical casinos, on land or on water, but not online.
  • West Virginia: Punters in West Virginia have been able to access retail sportsbooks since August 2018, and online sportsbooks since December 2018. However, a legal dispute caused the state’s sole mobile sports betting app to shut down that same month. No additional mobile offerings have appeared since.
  • New Mexico: While the state of New Mexico has not legalized betting on sports, one tribal casino, the Santa Ana Star, offers a legal sportsbook under its Class III gaming license. The state isn’t happy about it, but would have to amend existing laws to put a stop to it.
  • Pennsylvania: Technically, sports betting became legal in Pennsylvania the moment PASPA was lifted, but regulatory guidelines were nowhere near ready. The first sports bets were not accepted until November of 2018. Likewise, the first online and mobile sportsbooks appeared until May of 2019.
  • Rhode Island: Sports wagering was passed in June 2018, with the first bets taken at the very end of 2018. In March 2019, legislation was updated to approve mobile sports betting. Launch is pending, with the goal of offering a mobile sports product before the starts of the 2019-20 NFL regular season.
  • Arkansas: Some would say Arkansas is late to the game, but better late than never, right? The Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort is currently the only casino to offer sports betting in the state, accepting its first wagers in July 2019. Others are planning to follow suit in the coming months.
  • New York: On the law books since 2013, it took New York until July 2019 to finalize regulations and authorizations for sports betting. The first land-based offerings came along last month, but so far, the state has no plans to integrate online or mobile sports betting.

Legal But Pending Launch

The following list of US states have already moved to legalize the activity, and are currently racing to deliver a legal NFL sports betting product before September 5.

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 30

AML laws to blame for Parq Vancouver Casino losing money?

Parq Vancouver Casino Losing Money, Some say AML Laws to Blame

Since 2018, money laundering has been the most abundant topic surrounding British Columbia’s once-flourishing gaming industry. Hundreds of millions – perhaps even billions – of dollars have been identified moving through BC casinos over the last decade. Provincial leaders are cracking down on the situation, and while putting a strangle-hold on the activities of organized crime syndicates is a huge positive, the impact it’s having on the Vancouver gambling scene is not.

According to recent reports, the Parq Vancouver, the areas largest casino opened in 2017, is not fairing so well. In its first year, the integrated gambling and entertainment venue made nearly $20 million. Following the implementation of new anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, this latest year’s profits are non-existent. The property recorded a staggering loss of more than $150 million.

Is Parq Vancouver Casino Still Viable?

The Parq Vancouver is an imposing structure located in the heart of British Columbia’s most populous city. Its copper-tinted window-wall exterior and unique shape are unmistakable, and are home to a two-story casino, a pair of luxury hotel towers (JW Marriott and The Douglas) on each end, eight diverse restaurants and lounges, and a plethora of other amenities. It is, as its owners describe it, an “international entertainment destination” that proffers “everything in one place.”

At the time the casino was being built – a process that took nearly 3 full years to complete – such a facility was in high demand. It was no secret that some of Asia’s most affluent tourists are drawn to BC, Canada, and that they are keen high rollers on the gaming floor. No doubt, the Parq Vancouver was hoping to capitalize on that foreign cash crop.

What the property’s owners did not know was that Asian VIPs were about to become a thing of the past in Vancouver as exhumed records would soon reveal a deep dark pattern of money laundering, resulting in a strain of new AML policies designed to thwart cash-cleaning by organized crime units.

AML Regulations to Blame for Revenue Loss?

In its first fiscal year, despite hefty loans and mounting debt, the casino drug in a profit of about $18 million. However, when the Office of Attorney General David Eby uncovered a history of money laundering – one that was highlighted by suitcases and duffle bags stuffed with mostly $20 bills amounting to $13.5 million being deposited at the River Rock Casino in nearby Richmond, BC in a single month’s time – began re-scripting the province’s AML laws, BC casinos didn’t look quite so appealing to all those high rollers anymore.

Dundee Corp, minority owner of Parq Vancouver, filed its annual earnings report on March 28, 2019, and the results weren’t nearly so vibrant. On the year ending December 2018, Parq Vancouver lost nearly $153 million. According to research analyst Andrew Hood of M Capital Partners, $112 million of that was spent covering loans. Owners declined to comment beyond the revelations of the report, but Hood took no issue addressing the pink elephant in the room.

“The anti-money laundering regulations in British Columbia have been a problem,” explains Hood. “The regulations were supposed to cut down on illicit gambling but, of course, that hurt volumes across casinos.”

Furthermore, data from Bloomberg reveals Parq has a pair of loans out. The first is a US$220 first-lien term-loan, and the second is a $150 million second-lien term-loan. Being owned by two privately held companies, Dundee Corp and its majority owner, PBC Group, specific details like interest rates do not have to be disclosed. But it’s clear that the Parq Vancouver Casino is drowning in debt.

Global market ratings experts at S&P say there’s every chance Parq will default on its loans. “We still believe that, absent a debt recapitalization, the company will be unable to materially address its high fixed charges and financial sustainability,” notes S&P.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 26

Experts warn legal sports betting to feed match fixing crisis.

Experts Warn Legal Sports Betting to Feed Match Fixing Crisis

Competitive sports are a fascinating thing. Athletic contests, from feats of strength, to races, to team exhibitions, have existed as long as mankind has walked the earth. And for all that time, we’ve suffered the compulsion to pick a favorite – a likely winner – one we’re so confident in that some of us are willing to stakes something we hold dear upon it.

Thus is the nature of the timeless pastime we call sports betting. Sure, some of us are pure fans of the game, watching and cheering on our favorites for no other reason than our passion for the sport. But there’s no denying, a little action certainly raises the bar of exhilaration for viewers.

It’s not just the chance to win money that excites us, but the unpredictability of it all. We may truly believe we’ve picked a winner, but deep down, we know anything can happen, and it’s that uncertainty that drives the adrenaline ever faster through our veins as the game clock winds down.

Take away the unpredictability, and you take away everything that gives a sport meaning. No one will watch anymore. None will wager. The players will lose their drive. Teams will disband. Without unpredictability, sports will cease to exist.

As irrational as this sounds, it is not so preposterous when you look at the bigger picture; at what’s taking place behind the scenes all over the world. And now that the legalization of sports betting is spreading rapidly through the veins of North America, experts are becoming more concerned than ever.

Legal Sports Betting to Feed Match Fixing in Sports

For decades, the most persuasive argument against the legalization of sports betting has been the fear of rampant match fixing. It’s a foul enterprise that’s been present for ages. The prohibition on sports gambling wasn’t enough to prevent it, and now experts say the lifting of such bans could become the catalyst for the eventual demise of sports integrity.

Who are these so-called experts? They are Richard McLaren and David Howman, both speakers at the Symposium on Match Manipulation and Gambling in Sport, held in Toronto earlier this week.

Symposium Details Organized Crime, Doping and Match Fixing in Sports

Richard McLaren, a Canadian law professor and CEO of McLaren Global Sport Solutions, authored a state-sponsored report on the Russian match fixing crisis in 2016. David Howman, a New Zealand barrister, is the former director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, 2003-16), and current chair of the Athletic Integrity Unit.

Together, the two men described a sobering environment in which match manipulation is becoming more prominent than doping. These two factors combined are now the most alarming issues threatening the integrity of sports all over the world.

Multiple cases of match fixing have been identified in tennis for the last few years – especially at the lower amateur levels, where athletes hardly make enough money to cover their cost participation – but never so many incidents as were unearthed in 2018. More recently, a pair of snooker players were banned for match fixing and failing to report corruption. Just two months ago, a soccer referee received a lifetime ban for accepting bribes to manipulate matches.

Organized Crime Syndicates to Blame

Howman pins the problem on organized crime syndicates. “I have done a lot of work in the general sport integrity area and I can quote you what I am told by people who work in that more general business, including enforcement agents,” he said. “They all say the biggest threat to sport integrity is organised crime.”

Andy Cunningham, Director of Integrity for Sportradar, a company that monitors and analyzes patterns in sports betting, reporting its intelligence to more than one hundred governing sports authorities, accentuated Howman’s message.

“We saw it coming at WADA and I raised it during my term there as a significant issue that needed to be countered by world sport, because the bad guys involved in pushing dope and steroids are the same bad guys involved in match manipulation,” said Cunningham.

According to Interpol, an estimated $500 billion per year is wagered on sports – a hard figure to come by when it includes both legal and illegal wagering activity. Nonetheless, it presents a tasty smorgasbord for match fixers, who making untold amounts of money manipulating the outcomes of everything from the highest rungs of World Cup matches to the lowly Canadian Soccer League (CSL).

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Apr 24

Sports wagering lobbyist to give Canada’s politicians an earful.

Sports Wagering Lobbyist to give Canadian Politicians an Earful

The push to legalize sports betting in Canada rages on this week as the region’s premier sports news authority, theScore, is taking matters into their own hands. The Toronto-based company has hired a professional government relations expert to lobby on behalf of its company and countless sports fans across the nation.

Making the rounds at federal and provincial government hearings is one way to get your message out. Hiring a professional lobbyist who’s spent years navigating that complex environment is the better way. Such experts know how to find a champion for the cause, capable of finding ways to root the issues in their political priorities.

theScore Hires Professional Sports Wagering Lobbyist

Executive members of sports media firm didn’t have to go far to find the best man for the job. Also nestled in the heart of Toronto is Pathway Group, headed by co-founder and President Peter Curtis. He has decades of experience working with and within all levels of government, and is beyond qualified for the role.

Mr. Curtis’s experience in politics speaks for itself, from his teenage years when he walked into a campaign office in Dundas for the first time, to his current position of Executive Vice President of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Last week, Mr. Curtis made his latest mission quite clear. On behalf of theScore, the government relations aficionado filed a registration with the federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying. The brief filing declares his intention of “lobbying (to) legalize sports betting”, and pin-points his political targets as Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s office.

Capitalizing on NA’s Love for Pro Sports Betting

theScore has spent the last year attempting to capitalize on North America’s desire to bet on sports in a legal capacity. Months from now, the company plans to become the first media brand to launch its own online sportsbook, based out of New Jersey, USA. No doubt the firm would like to be able to follow that same path in its home base of Canada.

Originally founded in 1994 as Scorescope, the company started out as an alphanumeric scrolling ticker that displayed sports scores during regularly scheduled television shows, even during commercials. It was an enormously successful brand that evolved into the national, 24-hour Headline Sports channel in 1997, and theScore Television Network in 2000. Then in 2012, Rogers bought out the parent company, rebranding it Sportsnet 360.

That same year, John S. Levy founded theScore Inc., essentially relaunching the brand under its own representation. It’s since become a primary source of sports media in Canada, and a prime candidate for capitalizing on what is sure to become an extremely lucrative market, if and when Canada legalizes sports wagering.

Last month, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli wrote a now-famous letter to his federal counterpart, Bill Morneau. Within, he called “single event sports wagering…one of the fastest growing categories of gambling entertainment.” adding a glaring statistic that “90 per cent of the sports dollars wagered in Nevada sportsbooks are on single events.”

This gave Ontario yet another nudge, leading to its decision to “establish a competitive market for online gambling” within the 2019 budget proposal; one that includes hopes for legal single-event betting. The response from theScore came swift and adamant.

“theScore has always embraced the fact that sports betting is part of the overall fan experience,” said founder and CEO John Levy. “It is finally time for jurisdictions across Canada to adopt common sense sports betting regulation.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Apr 08

Canada’s favorite sports league partners with UK betting giant.

Canada's Favorite Sports League NHL Partners with UK Betting Giant

This story is starting to get old. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s another reason why Canada should legalize sportsbooks and single-event betting. Well, here’s another one for you. The National Hockey League (NHL) has signed a new sponsorship deal. As of last week, UK-based bookmaking giant William Hill became the official sports betting partner of the NHL.

Don’t misunderstand. This move has nothing to do with convincing the Canadian federal government to legalize sportsbooks. That’s just a sideline perk that’s bound to raise political eyebrows in the Great White North. The real purpose is, of course, to make monumental bundles of cash for William Hill, the NHL, and the tax coffers of US states where betting on sports has been legalized.

Betting on Canada’s Favorite Sports League

There’s no question that ice hockey is the number one sport in Canada. Like soccer in Europe, or football in America, the NHL gets more attention from Canucks than any other sport by far. We love the game so much, many of our teams glorify their fans with names like the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Vancouver Canucks.

Just because single-event betting isn’t expressly legal in the country doesn’t mean that fans aren’t wagering on the games. We love to make the games a little more interesting, just like people in the rest of the world where single-event action is legal. We just have to go a little further to place those bets – specifically, to international online sportsbooks.

The Canadian government is well aware of this. Provincial leaders, in particular, are hoping for a change to sports betting laws. The launch of legal sportsbooks in Canada would stop millions upon millions of dollars from flowing offshore each and every year, putting that money right back into the communities from which it was wagered. That’s what parlay-style sports lotteries – the only legal means of betting on sports we have now – do for each province. But those bets have terrible odds, in turn generating terrible participation levels.

How Might William Hill Partnership Help?

In the past, professional sports leagues had no interest in sports betting. In fact, they were dead set against the idea of people betting on their games. It was believed that a legal sports betting regime would promote duplicitous dealings like match-fixing. Now, however, it’s been determined that regulation shines a much brighter light on the activity, better serving to protect sports from underhanded dealings. It also helps leagues to generate a larger viewership base by increasing fan participation.

The fact that the NHL – Canada’s number one sports league – is in support of legalization, sends a clear message to all people of Canada, from class-A citizens up to federal-grade politicians, that sports betting is not the enemy.

This isn’t the NHL’s first foray into betting partnerships, either. Last November, the National Hockey League signed a contract with daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel Group. DFS hasn’t been so controversial in Canada; a moot issue that’s considered legal simply because it’s not expressly illegal. That same cannot be said of single-event sports betting, where punters put action on the outcome of a single sporting event.

A Montreal Canadiens fan, will PM Justin Trudeau favor legal sportsbooks in Canada?

Let’s not forget that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent years playing hockey in college and has proven his fandom for the sport ever since. He’s expressed his loyalty to the Montreal Canadiens on numerous occasions, and certainly seems to enjoy discussing NHL trades more than hard-line politics with the media. But is he acquiesce to legalizing sportsbooks in Canada? Only time will tell that tale, and whether the NHL’s willingness to play along will have any impact on the ending.

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