ATLANTIC CITY — You can buy weed at your convenience pharmacy or online, but you can’t gamble on a particular Canadian sporting event.
Some politicians believe that before it’s too late, their high time single-game wagering was legalized and supervised.
“Brian Masse, the Ontario NDP MP representing Windsor West, told W5,” We’re sort of in the backwater. Many nations, including the United States and Europe, have pushed towards creating a controlled sector and opening up daily betting systems.
Masse claims that if Canada’s Criminal Code is not amended to legalize single-game gaming, casino jobs will be lost in border cities such as Windsor as gamblers switch to the United States where wagering rules have already changed. The U.S. Supreme Court recently gave the go-ahead to state-level single-game gambling and New Jersey was the first state out of the gate with wagering bringing in tax revenue of almost half a billion dollars in just the first 18 months.
Nineteen states now give the ability to gamble on a single game at a time, but the loosened rules have obviously been accepted by New Jersey. The Prudential Center just steps from the ice level where games are played, has set up gambling kiosks.
In Great Britain, wagering has long been a way of life, but it has undergone an increase in addiction rates and a rising suicide rate specifically linked to gambling by the United Kingdom National Health Service.
It has opened 14 clinics specifically for gambling addicts, and it is estimated that every year in Great Britain, as many as 650 gambling addicts die from suicide.
Jack Ritchie was only 24 years old when he took his own life after having suffered with a gambling problem since he was 17. Charles Ritchie, Jack ‘s father, tells W5, “We got an email from him basically saying he’s back with the old issue, and I’m not coming back from this one, and in his email he attached a suicide note to us.”
Devastated by the death of their son, a support group for parents of suicide victims was founded by Charles and Liz Ritchie. In order to protect children, the organization wants the British government to provide stricter laws.
For Liz, it is all about protecting society’s most disadvantaged people.
“She has a message for Canadians eager to legally make a bet:” Don’t allow the gambling industry to believe your politicians. To say that everything is OK, they’re grooming the entire political class.
It’s not all right, because the fact is that young people are going to be addicted and some of them will die. It’s not a matter of this happening; it’s going to happen.
Masse, along with Kevin Waugh, MP of Conservative Saskatchewan, both introduced bills from private members asking for improvements to the criminal code to pave the way for single-game betting.
The bills were delayed when parliament was prorogued, but both leaders are hopeful they would have a chance of re-introducing them.
“No warning there. There isn’t a health warning. A six-year-old knows this kills smoking. Who thinks gambling is killing?