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Local leaders pressure feds to legalize single-event sports betting

16th December, 18:25

WINDSOR -- Leaders across labour, business and government in Windsor are ramping up pressure on the federal government to legalize single-event sports betting as a similar bill looks set for approval in Michigan.

Stakeholders with Unifor Local 444, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce along with industry and political representatives met at Caesars Windsor on Monday in a closed-door meeting to discuss how to move forward on the file.

Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy says single-event sports betting could create between 100 and 150 jobs in Windsor alone, pointing to previous studies on the subject.

The gaming industry in Windsor-Essex is in a race against competitors across the Detroit River who stand to benefit from legalized sports betting and internet gaming after the Michigan House of Representatives passed new legislation.

The bill still requires the signature of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as state legislators fine tune the law.

Proponents of sports betting in Windsor-Essex point to the Liberal Party's campaign messaging around the topic as a sign of optimism. The government's minority status is also seen as an opportunity to apply pressure to move the bill quickly through the House of Commons and the Senate.