NBA Pivots on Canadian Sports Betting Bill

Canadian Member of Parliament Joe Comartin introduced a bill three years ago to repeal Canada’s ban on single-game wagering. The bill passed unanimously with Parliament in the House of Commons, but has sat in the Canadian Senate ever since. But will it move now that the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (l.) has changed his stance on sports betting?

As it sits currently, if you’re in Canada and feel the itch to throw some money down on sports, you better hope there are more than two games you like, and you better like parlays. To wager legally on sports, you must bet a three-game minimum parlay. However, a bill from Member of Parliament Joe Comartin looks to change that.

The bill, C-290, currently pending in the Canadian Senate, would repeal the ban on single-game wagering. In 2012, all four major sports, in addition to the NCAA stood behind the bill, claiming that betting led to things such as jeopardizing the integrity of the game, and pulling fans away from their favorite teams only to wager on who they had money on.

However, that was 2012, and this is 2015, a year where the new National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver has consistently backed federal legislation for legalizing sports wagering. His stance on the C-290 bill is in line with his overall views on sports wagering, leading the NBA to withdraw its opposition on June 8 via a statement to the Canadian Senate.

“Consistent with the NBA’s current position regarding legalized sports betting in the United States, the NBA is no longer opposed to legalized sports betting in Canada so long as there is an appropriate legislative framework that protects the integrity of the game under strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.”

The NBA is currently the only organization that filed an opposition. The bill, although having passed three years ago, may expire due to inaction at the end of June.