Masse Looks For Sports Betting Support In LA

Windsor West MP Brian Masse is in Los Angeles looking for support on the issue of single-game sports betting and its ties to organized crime.

The N-D-P Member of Parliament is part of a Canadian delegation to the National Conference of State Legislatures which lobbies the American government on issues important to states.

Masse says single-game sports betting is being approved state by state in the U.S. after a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way.

He hopes more pressure will lead to the American government adopting the practice, followed by the Canadian government.

"Squeezing the black market betting by legalizing single-event sports betting will help cut funds going to organized crime," says Masse.

He tells AM800 News, big sports leagues like Major League Baseball spoke at the conference to endorse single-event sports betting.

Masse says Major League Baseball wants to see a regulatory approach that will ensure gaming integrity, consumer protection and terms to include mobile gaming.

"The reality is is that you can do this on your phone. We need to end these practices because that activity — consequences later on emerge through violence, through drug trade and other trafficking."

Masse explains, he is in the U.S. to get more support because in Canada, there seems to be little traction.

"Ottawa seems to be dragging behind the times and it's ironic because you'll be able to smoke marijuana but, you can't bet on a single sports betting game — but, you can bet on three games or four games or five games. It makes no sense whatsoever and we're literally shovelling money to organized crime."

He says "I'm encouraged by the fact that Major League Baseball has had a change of heart in many respects here, the NBA has already shifted quite significantly and the CFL has always been one of the ones that's been onside to recognizing they can't be used as a tool for organized crime."

On Tuesday, the NBA became the first major professional sports league in North America to have an official gaming company sponsor as Commissioner Adam Silver announced a three-year, $25-million deal with MGM.


— with files from AM800's Kristylee Varley