Legal Bill in Parliament Could Help Oilers with Arena

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Canadians are united in anger against the NHL lockout as fans take sides on who is to blame for the loss of the season openers.  But a number of teams continue to struggle with maintaining a balanced budget with worry that teams would relocate or fold, the Phoenix Coyotes especially, as a possibility.  Sadly for Canadians one of the seven home teams is in financial trouble too as the Edmonton Oilers worry about relocation of their team to Seattle without a new arena deal.

But a new bill currently in debate in Ottawa would allow lottery and gaming corporations nationwide to allow gamers legal bets on single game sportsbetting.  In Alberta this would allow the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) to contribute a portion of this new revenue towards helping finance an arena deal for the Oilers, if they choose to do so.

The bill has been put in motion by Ontario NDP MP Brian Masse who argues that “Sports Select” for multiple games being legal while a single game bet is illegal makes no sense in this day and age.  He also says that the switch would cut the profits out of organized crime, selling it as an extra feature to the Conservatives tough on crime stance.

The Alberta Treasury Board certainly supports the idea of the bill and wishes it to pass but President Doug Horner says assuming revenue would go to financing the Oilers arena is “premature to speculate.”

The motion is expected to pass the House of Commons with support on all sides believing the bill will be good for generating extra taxable revenue while putting a dent in the underground gambling market.  The Oilers and hockey fans across Canada are certainly hoping for the bill’s passing too; the Winnipeg Jets just came home we don’t want to say goodbye to the Edmonton Oilers as a tradeoff.