Northern Exposure: Canadian Premier League To Get Integrity Education

Each week, Canada Sports Betting recaps all the top sports betting and iGaming news in Canada and highlights upcoming events.

Our top stories this week

Event of the week

NHL – Oilers vs. Canucks series

The Vancouver Canucks stunned the Edmonton Oilers with a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night.

Vancouver trailed 4-1 late in the second period before netting the next four goals in the contest to take a 1-0 series lead and make the most of its home ice.

Game 2 is scheduled for Friday in Vancouver, with the Canucks listed as +110 underdogs (-130 moneyline odds for the Oilers) and the total set at six goals (bet365).

The Oilers are still -140 favourites to win the series despite the Game 1 setback, but the Canucks improved their series odds to +120 with the victory.

Game 3 will be played Sunday night in Edmonton, with Game 4 following next Tuesday.

Check back with Canada Sports Betting for comprehensive betting previews for each game in this all-Canadian series.

CGA seeking feedback on RG principles

The Canadian Gaming Association, a national trade association that works to advance the evolution of Canada’s gaming industry, is seeking feedback on its newly established Responsible Gambling Guiding Principles from industry stakeholders.

A list of six responsible gambling principles has been established by the CGA’s working group, which consists of Charmaine Hogan (Playtech), Chuck Keeling (Great Canadian Gaming), George Sweny (Flutter International), Shelley White (RGC), and Nav Sandhawalia (Fallsview Casino Resort), and Tracy Parker (RGC):

  • Guiding Principle 1: Shared Responsibility We believe protecting and supporting players is a shared responsibility amongst industry, government agencies, policymakers, not-for-profit organizations and regulators.
  • Guiding Principle 2: Strong Culture of Player Protection and Responsible Gambling We build a strong culture of player protection and Responsible Gambling within our organizations, via “tone from the top” and through the implementation of clear and effective programs and policies across all business units, divisions and departments.
  • Guiding Principle 3: Responsibility to Inform. We are committed to informing the public and players of the risks associated with gambling, promoting informed choice, and Guiding Principles mitigating potential harms.
  • Guiding Principle 4: Education, Supports and Services: We provide meaningful education to ensure that ALL players have the information they need about a broad range of gambling harm-related supports and services.
  • Guiding Principle 5: Protecting Higher Risk Players: We take action to proactively protect higher-risk players, vulnerable populations, including youth, and believe it is a fundamental responsibility of our industry.
  • Guiding Principle 6: Innovation and Continuous Improvement: We create safer products and play environments by collaborating on research, advancing technology, continuous improvement, and sharing data and information.

The CGA defines these principles as “a set of statements that will unify our industry and create a common language when it comes to our collective responsibility to promote responsible play and protect our players, families and communities.” However, the CGA says it’s not asking Canadian operators to change or revise their respective responsible gambling practices.

The Responsible Gambling Council and CGA held a player protection symposium on Dec. 5 of last year, which set the groundwork for the development of the revised principles.

Canada is known as a world leader in the responsible gambling realm. The RGC has been operating in Canada, and globally, for over 40 years, assisting operators, regulators, and people and communities.

IBIA partners with PFA Canada

The International Betting Integrity Association and its members — FanDuel, Betway, and bet365 — have partnered with the Professional Footballers’ Association Canada to help provide integrity education to the Canadian Premier League, they jointly announced Thursday.

Under the new partnership, the program will educate roughly 300 players and staff from the league’s eight teams about the potential threat of match integrity issues in the new age of regulated sports betting. The training will be both in-person and online.

“IBIA’s members take their role – as responsible regulated betting operators – in protecting the integrity of sporting competition and of betting markets seriously,” said CEO of IBIA, Khalid Ali, in a press release. “Alongside balanced, efficient and evidenced-based regulation, protecting soccer players, staff and officials from being targeted by criminals is an essential first step to stamping-out sports-betting related match-fixing and fraud.”

The Canadian Premier League is the first major Canadian sports league to receive a $300,000 education investment from the IBIA and its aforementioned sports betting members.

“At FanDuel Canada, we recognize the critical role athlete education plays in maintaining sports integrity,” said Dale Hooper, general manager of FanDuel Canada, in the release. “We are thrilled to expand our engagement with IBIA through this new partnership helping to build a curriculum that will help athletes understand their role in protecting sport.”

The IBIA releases quarterly integrity reports, and soccer (or football outside of North America) almost always accounts for the majority of suspicious alerts put out by the organization. Match-fixing scandals are also more prevalent in lower-tier leagues around the world, mostly because the athletes earn more modest salaries, according to the IBIA.

The news comes shortly after a handful of major betting scandals in North American sports. Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter, former CFL player Shawn Lemon, and the interpreter for MLB’s Shohei Ohtani have made headlines recently for serious match integrity and league gambling policy violations.