Unifor Gets Behind Sports Betting Push

Jake Cooper | 22 Feb 2019

UniforIf organised crime can rake in anything between $10- and $40 million in proceeds from single-event sports betting every year, then law-abiding citizens can surely do better. Strange as what it is to refer to something like sports betting as a crime, essentially, according to Canadian law at least, that’s what it is.

But hopefully, all of this is about to change. If the union representing the workers employed by Caesars Windsor has its way, single-event sports betting will be legal in Canada before the year is out. But this is no new fight; Unifor has been going at it for almost a decade. But what has changed? What makes this year any different to previous years?

New York and Michigan have both legalised single-event sports betting.

Fighting The Good Fight Is Worth It

According to Unifor President Dave Cassidy, it’s too much of a good fight to just let it slide. Considering the fact that legalisation will effectively create 150+ new jobs at Caesars alone, one has to admit that he may have a very valid point. A legal market will bring about many positive changes, including better control by government, effective punter protection, a surge in income that can be put to good use in various areas of the local economy, and much, much more.

Cassidy had already alluded to the fact that the union was once again going to take up the case when he discussed some of its plans with the media. In order to get ahead and make straight the way, he had even requested that the issue be brought to the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Next Stop: Parliament Hill

Cassidy and the union now plan to approach cabinet during the week of March the 4th. Lobbying has become necessary and the 2001 proposal, developed back then by former Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin, will once again be put to table for discussion.

The amendment of a single paragraph in the country’s Criminal Code is all that is required, says Cassidy, and one can almost sense the feeling of “so near, and yet such a long way off”. As for Dave Cassidy, he is of the opinion that there’s no place or need for negativity, and that the time is now to bring the issue into the light.