National Hockey League hires lobbyists in effort to scrap gambling bill

The National Hockey League sees itself as something of a guardian of the game, which might surprise you if you, say, tried to watch an NHL game in October, November or December. The NHL, along with the NCAA, NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball vehemently oppose efforts on both sides of the border to liberalize gambling laws (they’re jointly suing in New Jersey to block Gov. Chris Christie’s efforts to legalize sports betting in the state), suggesting it will somehow tarnish the purity of the game. As if betting on sports wasn’t already happening in Las Vegas, all over the world on the Internet, or in the U.K., where gaming companies trade on the London Stock Exchange.

In the fall, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was scheduled to appear before a Canadian Senate committee studying Bill C-290, which would legalize single game sports betting in Canada (currently Canadians can only bet parlays via government-run lotteries), but had to cancel due to NHL collective bargaining talks (he did send an underling).

The NHL has an uphill battle to fight here, because the House of Commons already unanimously supports the bill. The unelected Senate is the only thing that stands in the way of UTTER CHAOS. Or, you know, nothing. Anyways, around the same time Daly was scheduled to appear, the NHL did what the fabulously wealthy do when they run into trouble — throw money at the problem. The league hired two lobbyists to send their message to the government.

The first also deals with some copyright issues:

1-lobby

2-lobby

The second is focused specifically on killing C-290:

3-lobby

4-lobbyIt should be noted that neither of these registrations are officially linked to an actual meeting yet, at least according to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada’s web site. I don’t know enough about lobbying to know whether there are other channels of communication, but the hires themselves are evidence enough that the NHL is damn serious about blocking this bill.

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