A recent report by the Canadian Gaming Association on the impact of sports wagering on Ontario border casinos (Single-Event Sports Wagering in Canada – A Case Study: Border Commercial Casinos in Ontario) cites the facts set out above and highlights the benefits of offering a legal regulated sports wagering product in the Ontario border casinos of Windsor and Niagara Falls. The potential benefits generated by additional visits from U.S. patrons include the creation of up to 250 new jobs directly in the two casinos, and economic benefits in the broader community.
Examining the effect of Super Bowl weekend on the Las Vegas economy is instructive in this regard. Though sports wagering in Nevada accounts for only approximately 1% of the total amount gambled annually in the state, Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas is one of the busiest of the year. In 2011, $87 million was directly wagered on the Super Bowl. More importantly, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates the weekend attracts 250,000 additional visitors who generate an economic impact equal to or greater than the amount wagered on the game.
Legal sports wagering would be a significant attractor for communities with casinos; there are more than 100 million U.S. residents within a 6-hour drive of a Canadian casino. The only beneficiaries of the current legal framework are illegal offshore operators, bookies, and organized crime.
Now is the time for political action from the grass roots- -for everyone to contact their Member of Parliament and let them know that this is a Bill worthy of their support.