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Jim Lawson Shares Thoughts on Current CFL State

Former Canadian Football League chairman and current CEO of the horse racing leader Woodbine Entertainment Jim Lawson has spoken on the current football league situation and its financial difficulties. According to Mr. Lawson, the economic business model for the league is not entirely functional but he is hopeful that the proposed legalization of single-event wagers can fix that.

Besides serving as the CFL’s chairman Mr. Lawson has plenty of experience and involvement in the field since generations of his family have been part of the football industry. But he is optimistic that Bill C-218 which will finally allow Canadians to bet on single games can be the solution to the league’s problems.

Broken Business Model

Last Friday Mr. Lawson intensively discussed the matter of how according to him the economic framework of the league is rather difficult to understand and is in fact problematic. He believes that the model of operations should be reviewed and changed. However, the unprecedented situation has also had a negative impact on the league and it had last between CA$60 and CA$80 million in losses for 2020.

Due to the financial difficulties, the league resorted to contacting the XFL which is also experiencing a rather turbulent spell about a potential partnership. The XFL season was put on hold due to the lockdown restrictions and later Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy. Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital acquired all assets of XFL’s parent company of Alpha Entertainment LLC.

The CFL is hopeful that RedBird Capital’s involvement will bring stability for both leagues and Mr. Lawson is also optimistic that the American football establishment might open up revenue options for the CFL in the U.S. But the former chairman has urged everyone to be patient on the matter and remain open-minded.

The CEO of Woodbine Entertainment believes that the proposed change in Canadian gaming law of the introduction of single-event wagers will be of massive boost for the football league by providing more revenue. He believes that the change will have a massive impact on the sport and the whole gaming industry as a whole and will open up new opportunities for all sports and maybe even amateur sports.

Bill C-218 Vote

Last Thursday was of tremendous importance for the horse racing industry and the future of the gambling industry as a whole as the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights unanimously voted to exclude the horse races from the bill. This comes as great news for the sector after its leaders have requested on numerous occasions that the introduction of single-game betting in the country should not bring any unintentional harm to the live harness races.

Public Statement

Not long ago as CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Mr. Lawson addressed the public of the current situation regarding the horse racing industry. He explained some of the mandatory health and safety protocols which are in order for the races to recommence and that everyone involved must comply with. Since there are lots of traveling horsepeople, there will be quarantine measures for some individuals depending on their province or country of residence.

Source: “Former CFL chairman Jim Lawson believes ‘the economic model is broken’, sports betting the answer3 Down Nation, March 29, 2021