Tony Santo, CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, has submitted a letter to the editor of the Kelowna Daily Courier pushing for a change in Canadian law to enable legal single bets on sporting events.
“As one of the largest and most diversified gaming companies in Canada, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment would like to lend our support for the growing conversation on allowing sports betting for Canadians,” he wrote. “Recently, we have seen Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedelli and Unifor National President Jerry Dias confirm their support for allowing this choice and we would like to join with them in a call to make a small change to the Criminal Code that will generate a much larger return in terms of jobs, investment and customer experiences in Canada.”
In his missive, Santo described sports betting as “a natural extension of the local entertainment destinations we strive to create at our properties in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario”. He added: “However, we also operate in a number of border communities where this issue is particularly important when you look at the competitive challenge that is facing us in the near future.”
Recounting the strikedown of PASPA, Santo noted: “Last year, the US Supreme Court authored a decision giving individual states the ability to legalize single event sports betting in their respective jurisdictions. States like Michigan and New York are moving ahead to introduce this kind of customer experience that will no doubt weaken our ability to compete in border communities, which impacts our employees as well.”
His letter concluded: “Canadians love their sports and they love to wager on them. The federal government has an opportunity to create more jobs and more investment in a growing industry while enjoying an additional source of revenue. We hope they embrace this opportunity given our U.S. competitors are doubling down.