Tony Santo is the CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited. (Paul Grdina Photography)

Tony Santo is the CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited. (Paul Grdina Photography)

Letter: More jobs, entertainment with sports betting

Government has an opportunity to create more jobs by allowing sports betting

Tony Santo/Contributed

As one of the largest and most diversified gaming companies in Canada, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment would like to lend our support for the growing conversation on allowing sports betting for Canadians.

Recently, we have seen Ontario Finance Minister, Vic Fedelli and Unifor National President, Jerry Dias confirm their support for allowing this choice and we would like to join with them in a call to make a small change to the Criminal Code that will generate a much larger return in terms of jobs, investment and customer experiences in Canada.

For us, sports betting is a natural extension of the local entertainment destinations we strive to create at our properties in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. However, we also operate in a number of border communities where this issue is particularly important when you look at the competitive challenge that is facing us in the near future.

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court authored a decision giving individual states the ability to legalize single-event sports betting in their respective jurisdictions. States like Michigan and New York are moving ahead to introduce this kind of customer experience that will no doubt weaken our ability to compete in border communities which impacts our employees as well.

Gateway is committed to creating jobs and investing in local communities and expanding and supporting a thriving gaming industry in this country. We have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars and created thousands of new jobs across Canada by building new restaurants, casinos and entertainment venues. Letting these properties have the opportunity to offer sports betting will only increase these numbers and create more jobs and more revenue for federal and provincial treasuries.

Canadians love their sports and they love to wager on them. The federal government has an opportunity to create more jobs and more investment in a growing industry while enjoying an additional source of revenue. We hope they embrace this opportunity given our US competitors are doubling down.

Tony Santo is the CEO of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited


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