CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie took to Canada’s Senate Wednesday to push for single-game gambling to be legalized.
It’s been a topic of discussion for a while in Canada as the Senate considers Bill C-218. The bill would allow single-game or event gambling throughout the country. A bill that would greatly help the CFL heading into an all important 2021 season.
Ambrosie spoke to the Senate Wednesday stating that the bill would be a great opportunity to help the CFL generate much needed revenue.
“This may be one of the single biggest opportunities that the Canadian Football League has ever faced and it couldn’t happen at a better time. We’ve gone through a very challenging environment with the COVID pandemic, we see this as a recipe for a quicker recovery as we come out of it.”CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie
Canadian Gaming Association president Paul Burns also spoke to the Senate Wednesday as he estimates it could create as much as $7 billion right away. That number could go up as much as $28 billion as it is being established around the country.
As many businesses and sports leagues did during the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the CFL took major losses financially. The league losses are estimated to be between $60 million to $80 million. There was a push from the league to try to get a $30 million interest-free loan from the government last year but was denied.
In order for a possibility of the CFL to have single-game betting this season, the Senate would have to pass the bill before they go into recess on July 16. Burns does anticipate that if it passes, fans could start betting on games as early as September.
“This legislation is long overdue, it has been long awaited and it should be considered swiftly before the summer recess. With the possibility of a fall election in the news, we fear that a delay would mean this bill could die on the order paper.”CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie
The league has been exploring multiple options to try to make as much revenue as possible to recoup their losses from last year. A potential collaboration or merger with the XFL could add another stream of revenue the league is needing. A continuing battle of allowing fans in the stands for the 2021 season also is playing a major role in the league trying to add money.
June and July are going to be the most critical months for the 2021 season. June 14 has been set as the date the league decides on whether they are committed to an August 5 start to the season. July 16 is when the bill needs to be passed in order for single-game betting to be realistic for this season for the CFL.
There’s no telling what’s going to happen to the CFL in the next few weeks, but without fans in the stands and betting as a revenue option, the 2021 season will have a major roadblock. The league has a history of being resilient and with fan support could find a way to make it work out in their favor. CFL fans will be eagerly awaiting what could be the longest two months in league history.
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