Canada sports betting lobby criticises NHL on Las Vegas franchise


Canada’s pro sports betting stakeholders have criticised the NHL (the governing body of US professional ice hockey), stating that its decision to allow a new franchise in Las Vegas was hypocritical.  

The NHL’s governance has been one of the major roadblocks in allowing lawmakers to pass a single sports betting bill, on grounds of potential integrity impacts to its eight Canadian franchises.

Having greenlighted billionaire Bill Foley’s ‘Vegas Black Knights’ project last week, Canadian pro betting stakeholders accused the NHL of undermining Canada’s position in wanting to pass a legalised betting framework. 

Although gaining cross-party support, Canada’s last two attempts to pass single-sports betting regulations (bills – C290 and C-122) had failed as the bills faced numerous obstacles and delays in their hearings.

Canadian sports betting advocate Brian Masse, MP for West Windsor stated that the approval of a Vegas franchise signified the “complete betrayal of Canadians”.

They had pushed against single-event sports betting in Canada. Much of the leverage they used was that they would not advance Canadian franchises [if single-event sports betting was legal].”

“The NHL has now turned their backs, thumbed their nose and stuck out a finger at legislators here in Canada, because they’re doing this in Vegas and perpetuating their own profits at the expense of Canadian hockey,” Masse said.

Following the rejection of bill C-122 in April by the newly elected Canadian Liberal Party, the country awaits for new legalised sports betting proposals.

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