In this preview for the January edition of the Gaming America magazine, we sat down with Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association to discuss the history of gaming and sports betting in the country, as well as the bright future that lays ahead for the nascent industry.
“My background is in politics,” Burns said on how he first entered the gaming industry. “I previously worked for political leaders at the federal-provincial level and one of the last political files I ended up managing in Ontario was for gaming.
“When the region, back in the late 90s, was expanding gaming offerings through casinos, slots, and race tracks, I got to work on a lot of those files and that ended up leading me to work for a company that wanted to build casinos in the region at that time.”
Once introductions had been made, Burns went into a deep-dive on the history of Canadian sports betting, which saw monumental change this year with the passing of Bill C-218, the single sports betting law.
“The overarching laws for gaming in Canada reside in the Criminal Code of Canada, but since 1985, the power of gaming was essentially devolved to the provincial governments,” he noted.
“We started our first meetings around 2010, our first bill actually passed the House of Commons unanimously, it went to our senate and they really were not having any of it.”
“The third time however was a success, the timing was right, and professional sports leagues had joined the cause and there was literally no opposition,” Burns explained, highlighting the importance of the growth of gaming in the United States.
From our conversation, one thing was clear, Mr.Burns believes the future of Canadian iGaming and sports betting is just as bright as its neighbor to the south.
The President commented: “The amount of choice and variety will be fantastic and bringing gaming into the regulated sphere will really unlock the market.”
Keep your eyes peeled for the full interview, appearing in the January/February edition of Gaming America.