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Expansion of legalized betting “jeopardizes the integrity of professional sports,” says NHL

Nov 8, 2012, 1:59 PM EDT

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Bill Daly was supposed to be in Ottawa today to appear in front of a Senate committee on the expansion of legalized sports betting in Canada. Fortunately for hockey fans, the NHL’s deputy commissioner was too busy with other stuff to make the trip.

The NHL did, however, release a statement on the proposed bill that would permit provinces to allow wagering on a single sports game. (Currently it’s only legal to bet on multiple games.)

“The bill jeopardizes the integrity of professional sports and the public’s trust and confidence in professional sports in North America,” the statement reads, as per

“If single-game sports betting becomes a publicly fostered and sponsored institution, then the very nature of sports in North America (including the National Hockey League) will change, and we fear it will be changed for the worse.”

The NHL isn’t blind. It knows billions of dollars are already wagered illegally on single-game sports games. And it’s not like this bill would make it legal for street-corner bookies to take bets; it would all be provincially regulated.

It appears the league is concerned with optics as much as anything. The mere suggestion of impropriety could, in theory, be damaging to the NHL brand.

And in fairness, Canucks fans are paranoid enough without adding a potential gambling conspiracy to the equation.

  1. jimw81 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    i don’t how it gambling hurts ‘integrity’ of game. Al Michael talks about the gambling line on the SNF game every week.

  2. solador78 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    The NHL just doesn’t want Russian and Asian syndicates taking over a racket that they’ve controlled since Arnold Rothstein invented it in 1919.

  3. elemeno89 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    hmmm io getting a sense of deja vu. slow news day today boys?

  4. therealjr - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    So right now, since almost all the gambling is done illegally, we’re good. Is that how it goes?

    • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      Here in Canada, which the article is referring to, we can gamble on NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, Golf, Nascar, Soccer, Tennis….at pretty much any corner store or gas station.

      The deal is we can’t bet on 1 outcome, always 2 or more.
      The NHL prefers it to remain at 2 or more

      • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:02 PM

        No different than buying a lotto ticket, same machine prints it out. Government sponsored sports gambling baby.

      • badintent - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:42 AM

        IN BC We have Sports Action , a BS sports betting program that no one ever wins, it’s stacked so far in favor of the corrupt provincial government. The bets are a freaking joke. no one except total losers plays it. Everyone else has a bookie. NHL is not gonna break that system anytime soon.

      • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:25 AM

        There isn’t a single bookie worth salt who is taking bets with odds that differ from what vegas casinos are offering. And ALL odds given by every province is a direct representation of those Vegas odds.

        BC offers spreads, moneylines, over/unders all based on Vegas bookmakers and every bookie goes by the same.

        The only thing a bookie offers that the province does not is single game wagers.

        As a former bookie I must LOL at what you’re saying because it’s complete hogwash

      • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:30 AM

        You go to Vegas and get the Falcons to beat the Saints this weekend by 4 and they will pay you +210.

        You bet on it in BC on Sports action you’re getting 2.10

        There isn’t a single bookie out there offering anything remotely different than that Vegas +210 which is no different than Sport Action’s 2.10 Odd on a 4 point spread.

        So ya….there’s reality
        The ONLY thing a bookie is good for is Canada is single game wagers in 2012

      • solador78 - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        mrchainbluelighting it’s obvious that you don’t know the first thing about sports betting. lines are commodities, where early action is made in bulk by the largest books and syndicates. The action is then parceled out to smaller bettors. By the time the public can bet these games, spreads may have moved several points in either direction. At the very least it will have moved a half point or more, because smaller books need margin to cover the public’s propensity to lay favorites. Your corner bookie is not in business to collect juice, but rather make loans. The government and the NHL need to single game bets to stay illegal because they are too far down the food chain to know when a game has been fixed, so they protect themselves by forcing squares to play parlays that not profitable over the long term, even if the match is fixed.

      • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Solador you sir are a complete buffoon. Thanks for pointing out the OBVIOUS and accepted.
        Do you think that ANYTHING I said contradicts any of that?

        Do you think that pointing out the obvious and then pointing a finger saying “Ha!” means that I was saying different?
        You moron


        And shut your ignorant mouth about when the most money gets laid out, because the BULK is NEVER at the onset.

        So lemme break it down for you
        This was my JOB for close to a decade
        I’ve forgotten more about sports lines than you will ever know.

      • solador78 - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        Here’s a simplified real world example:

        Opening line: Home Team -3

        $100,000 is placed on the visitor +3 by pro gamblers.
        $100,000 is placed on the home team -3 by offshore books.

        The $100,000 that the offshore books bet, is then resold at -3.5 to the public, who place 1000 $100 bets.

        When the game finishes 27-24 for the home team, the pro gamblers and offshore book push.

        However, those 1000 weekend bettors have just lost everything.

      • mrchainbluelightning - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        Cool story, bro, changes NOTHING between the lines offered by your local bookie and the province.

        Im going to repeat, you’re a know-nothing idiot typing garbage that is accepted and a given trying to look smart.

        You’re an idiot
        Again thanks for pointing out the obvious and meaningless to the current conversation.

        Why didn’t you just say “no you’re wrong the sky is blue”? It’s no different than the crap you’re feeling the need to spew out now.

        Cool story Bro

      • solador78 - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:03 AM


        False. The bookies and the province are already locked in at a better line. They’re reselling favorites with margin to cover their own bets.

        I guess that’s why you couldn’t cut it as a bookie.

      • solador78 - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        I’m sorry that you’re unable comprehend basic third grade math that illustrates the magic formula for a sportsbookie to make guaranteed money.

  5. jdrew506 - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    What seems crazy to me is we keep hearing from republicans that we should have a lot less of federal government and more involvement from state government. However when ever things like a woman’s right to choose, same sex marriage or the legalization of weed is voted on and passed at the state level the same people who cry about less federal government are the ones who yell about federal laws and more federal government involvement. I am sorry but I don’t see how they can get it both ways.

    • solador78 - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      GW Bush added online gambling to the Patriot Act because he believed that online gambling funded terrorism and 911. Some of the proceeds from the books were wired to the Middle East, but not to Afghanistan or Iraq.

  6. jdrew506 - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Lol whoops sorry I think my iPhone might be high since this was meant to post to a different article. I know I am not high since my dealer up and moved to Colorado. Lol

  7. thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Funny. The NFL owes (almost) all of its popularity to gambling. Maybe the NHL could learn a thing or two from that?

  8. mrchainbluelightning - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Not sure how many of you actually read the article. But currently we can bet on 2 or more games no problem. The issue they have is the idea of single game wagers. I for one have no problem if the league prefers to only allow multiple game wagers. Fixing one game is not totally insane, but fixing two gets tricky.

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