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Pupatello and Masse gamble on single sports betting
WINDSOR -- Many pundits believe the riding of Windsor West in the 2019 federal election is a two person race between Liberal Sandra Pupatello and New Democrat Brian Masse.
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Pupatello is directly challenging Masse on the issue of single game sports betting.
"There needs to be a majority Liberal government to make that happen," said Pupatello in front of Caesars Windsor on Wednesday.
Pupatello said the landscape in sports betting changed when certain U.S states, including Michigan, as well as major sports leagues embraced the idea of legalizing sports bets.
The Liberal candidate claims legalizing single game betting would create 150 jobs in Windsor, while adding revenue for the province that could climb as high as $1 billion.
Pupatello believes she's the one who can secure those jobs and that revenue.
“There has yet to be an issue that I said I was going to do that I did not deliver," said Pupatello. "They know me as 16 years as their MPP and when I lock into an issue I get it resolved or I don't say that I will."
But the idea of legalized sports betting is an issue that Masse fought for as the New Democrat MP for Windsor West.
In fact, he authored bill C221 -- the single events sports wagering bill.
Masse’s bill received support from some Liberals and Conservatives but eventually was defeated in the House of Commons by the majority Liberal government.
Masse questions where the Liberal support was then and why it's changing now.
"So in the meantime, we lost hundreds of millions of dollars per year and billions of dollars went to organized crime and to other types of unauthorized betting at the expense of health care, education, employment and subsequently, those benefits are lost forever," said Masse.
Masse was joined outside Caesars Windsor by former labour leader Ken Lewenza Senior and other Unifor members for a news conference just four hours after Pupatello held hers.
Masse called Pupatello's statement "playing politics at the worst level."
According to the Canadian Gaming Association, the illegal sports betting market in Canada is estimated to be worth $40 billion.
Masse and Pupatello are running against Henry Lau of the Conservatives, Quinn Hunt of the Greens, Darryl Burrell of the People’s Party of Canada and Margaret Villamizar of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.
The federal election is Oct. 21, 2019.