Idea alert

Joe Comartin advocates for sports gambling.

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin last spring introduced a parliamentary motion to delete one paragraph from the Criminal Code which bans sports wagering — as was done a few years ago with dice games. ”We have been working with the Canadian Gaming Association and the CAW to get the government to move on this, but they haven’t, and we’re not sure why,” Comartin said. “It’s kind of frustrating.”

Comartin said Ontario casinos are facing a perfect storm, with increased competition and tighter passport rules and that sports wagering could provide a much-needed edge. ”We are worried,” Comartin said. ”At some point, we expect some state in the U.S. will follow Nevada’s example. Probably one of the states in the midwest will allow it. Then they will all come on board, to remain competitive.”




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Idea alert

  1. When it comes to proposing increased gambling to deal with economic woes, it really should be "Out of Ideas Alert."

  2. OK, so I see the early feedback from the Usual Leftists is negative. Strange, being liberal folk you'd think they'd favour removing any restriction on personal freedoms, the state having no place in a sawdust joint and all that.

    It's sort of like prostitution, though. Here's the lib-leftist's thought process on both sports wagering and legalizing the sex trade:

    Pro: increase personal liberty, fun, possible large new tax revenue streams.
    Con: might make life marginally less miserable for white males in Canada.
    Conclusion: Oppose.

    I can see why Cromartin is behind this, but what the hell does the CAW have to do with this? Why are they even mentioned in the article? It's not their union in the casinos, who are nevertheless unionized.

    It starts with the union, it ends with the union, understand? – Les Invasions Barbares

    Ah.

    • "Con: might make life marginally less miserable for white males in Canada."

      If you need sports gambling and prostitution to be less miserable, perhaps you need a new outlook on life.

      Would this include the legalization of recreational drugs?

    • Nothing is preventing you from giving yourself away at present, Tony. Why do you need to accept money to be less miserable? Still fixated on the "just price"? And what does your being a white male have to do with it?

    • My primary thought on prostitution is that a large part of it isn't a consensual agreement between two adults, but a system of sex slavery involving people controlled by violence and/or permanent debt. And legalization, contrary to what's assumed, doesn't end that – there's still a large underground sex trade and the majority of women in prostitution are foreign-born. It's highly probably that a large proportion of that number are victims of human trafficking and desperation rather than people who have chosen it as a profession. Legalization also makes prosecution of pimps and traffickers much harder because they can argue the victim consented to her exploitation.

      Sweden's had great success in reducing human trafficking to it by prosecuting the buyers instead of the prostitutes, and providing the latter with strong support services to find another line of work. That's the direction I'd prefer for us to move in.

  3. Can anyone explain to me what business it is of the government's whether one wagers on sports?

    • Or any traditional vice for that matter?

      • Or anything I personally like/don't like for that matter?

    • Are you implying it's not the government's business to regulate commerce?

  4. If people in Windsor can gamble on Joe Comartin, surely we can let them gamble on sports.

  5. At the first CPAC/Macleans television panel, Ed Broadbent made a remark along the lines that the legalization of gambling was a sign of deep rot in our state or something like that.

    I wonder what the official NDP position is.

    I feel quite strongly that MPs and former party leaders should not be allowed to say publicly things that are not consistent with the current and official party position. Too many cooks spoils the soups/Too many voices spoils the debate and advancement of public policy.

    • There are many people who agree with you Pete… starting with the Chinese communist party.

  6. Well, sports gambling is light-years more civilised than VLT's. I'd support legalising sports gambling if we just dumped the VLT's in a huge pile and blew them sky-high.

    • Jack, why don't you support our troops?

    • "I'd support legalising sports gambling if "

      OK, so if a buncha conditions were met you would support it, which is to say you don't support it, which is to say you are imposing your morality on others.

      I think VLTs gotta go too but I don't call myself a liberal. We know you seem strongly opposed to brothels and sex between two consenting adults ;-), so I'm satisfied we've proved yet again that Liberals are illiberal and want to impose their morality on others.

      Something else Ontario could do to spur economic activity is allow MMA, as other provinces and 42 states have done. Two consenting adults want to fight for cash on private property, it's none of the state's business. You just know the lefties oppose it, mostly because it might make life marginally less miserable for white males, so we've found yet another aspect of society that totalitarian liberals want to control.

      • Tony… why do you hate white males so much?

      • Let me guess, if the weather isn't to your particular liking on a given day it's because Mother Nature is oppressing you as a white male, right Tony? Time for a new pony, this one trick is wearing out.

      • What prevents non-white people from being involved in MMA? I'm just curious as to why this is an exclusively "white male" issue rather than a simple libertarian one. Personally, I'd guess the government just doesn't want to deal with the public uproar if someone dies in one of those mutually consensual matches.

        Oh, and much of the left is also in favour of prostitution as sexually liberating for women, so you've got some allies there.

  7. Stupid, bad, idiotic idea. Just moronic.

    • So I suppose that makes it a lock for Van Loan et al to get behind. Either that or pour money into legal action and not into rehabilitation of drug addicts. Oops, that was an awkward segue…

  8. What's wrong with pro-line other than unfavorable odds on all Canadian hockey teams?

  9. Eh, I'm of the opinion that gambling in general causes a great deal of suffering disproportionately on a few, for the end of giving money either to criminals or the government. Giving it to the government is better than giving it to criminals I guess, though I'd prefer if people were smarter, and kept it to secure their own standards of living.

    I'm as conservative and non-interventionist as they come, but I'm generally in agreement with Jack that VLT's are evil. They are addictive, and I doubt if they are getting money that would normally go to other gambling. Instead, it is encouraging gambling, which is bad public policy.

    • A lot of things cause a great deal of suffering: Marxist philosophy, a number of religions, infidelity in marriage, smoking, etc. I doubt you'd favor banning all of them.

      The fact they something causes suffering isn't enough to justify banning it per se. In a free society people have to be able to make their own choices, even their own bad choices, as long as those choices don't usurp the freedom of other citizens. I'm not seeing how that's the case for sports gambling.

  10. Okay, so maybe making an economic argument for introducing more forms of gambling is goofy. But could someone please explain why – when we already have Pro-Line – we put the kaibosh on sports betting?

    I mean, I'm not about to put money on the Leafs or anything, but I don't much care what other people do in their spare time with their disposable income (provided it is, in fact, spare time and disposable income).

  11. Given that, at least in BC, the provincial government runs the casinos, I don't see why people shouldn't be allowed to bet on horse races and the like if they want to. And unlike casinos and lottery tickets, there's some skill involved and a reasonable prospect of winning at some point.

    I don't like gambling, but as the government already profits from it there's little justification for their preventing other people from doing so. A cynical part of me is saying banning it is just the government trying to avoid any competition.

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