Is Sports Betting Making Its Way to Canada and Will Horse Racing Be Included?

Written By Cheryle Kaus on September 12, 2019

Jim Lawson, the CEO of the Woodbine Entertainment Group, has stated he strongly believes the legalization of single-game sports betting within Canada is increasing at a rapid pace and will likely be an issue in the federal election this fall. The most important aspect is to ensure that horse racing gets a piece of the action should sports betting become legal in Canada.

“It will completely break apart rural Canada along with all its racetracks, as there’s a huge cultural component within Canada filled with horse racing enthusiasts, and the horse racing industry will be devastated should horse racing not be part of sports betting in Canada,” Lawson stated.

Even though Jim Lawson stressed that sports betting will probably not play a major role for any of the political parties during the Canadian federal election, the fact that sports betting was approved by the U.S Supreme Court in May 2018 and the fact that the overall revenue is far too big to ignore is assisting the issue to gain much-needed traction in the Great White North.

“It’s obviously not a major factor at the moment, but in the same breath, the Canadian market might be anywhere between $12 and $15 billion. A huge chunk of that action will certainly assist us in fighting deficits in several provinces, especially in Ontario,”

“Most of the Canadian citizens is already placing bets on sports and they are accomplishing this through offshore betting sites,” Lawson continued. “You will always have people that will have major issues, both ethically and morally, when it comes to sports betting and gambling in general, and I definitely understand that. There’s no denying that everyone is entitled to their own view and opinions.”

“However, at the end of the day, it remains a $15 billion source of revenue and I believe that the federal politicians will pay attention to this amount and will finally step up. Therefore, I believe that it’s gaining a lot of momentum . I also believe that the decision made by the U.S Supreme Court has been a catalyst for the federal politicians in Canada who are realizing that there’s revenue shortages in the country. The world is becoming more expensive by the day and we have to find a way to generate revenue for the country.”

“Once you see the potential revenue you can make, coupled with the fact that most of it is currently going offshore, I believe that it will quickly change your mindset and give you reason to bring that revenue back into your own country. I also believe that the potential revenue will grow considerably once you market it properly and do it legally, which cannot occur at the moment as its currently illegal.”

Once sports betting becomes legal in Canada, Jim Lawson’s Woodbine Entertainment Group is perfectly positioned to be a frontrunner in providing a superior gaming option.

The Woodbine group is comprise of 60 off-track betting facilities throughout Ontario and as Lawson pointed out, is capable of handling the infrastructure to handle the online betting business. He states that while they aren’t approved as a gaming company yet, they are a supplier and could be the backbone for sports betting in the Canadian market.

Another interesting aspect when it comes to the Woodbine Entertainment Group is the fact that the company is a non-profit mandate which means that all the earnings will essentially be used to provide additional jobs in the Canadian horse racing industry across the country. All the money will be used to enrich the Canadian economy whereas other organizations will simply place it in their own pockets.

Now it simply boils down to whether sports betting will be legalized in Canada and whether horse racing will be included.

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Cheryle Kaus

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