MP Brian Masse, the representative for Windsor West Ontario, has put forward his third attempt to legalise ‘single sports wagering’ federally across Canada.
Despite securing cross-party support, in 2016 Masse’s Bill C-221 ‘The Safe & Regulated Sports Act’ was rejected in its final Ottawa House hearing, as PM Justin Trudeau’s newly installed Liberal Party refused to support a Canadian wagering mandate.
On Tuesday, Masse put forward the working foundations of ‘Bill C-218’, which will be propositioned to Canada’s House of Commons for a provisional review.
In its foundations, Bill C-218 seeks to repeal certain sports wagering elements from Canada’s criminal code, allowing for single sports wagering to be enacted federally across the nation’s provinces.
“Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race or fight or on a single sports event or athletic contest,” Bill C-218 details in its Commons reading.
Masse confirmed that his new Bill would be co-sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh – a representative for Saskatoon-Grasswood.
Supporting Masse’s new mandate, Waugh underlined that Canada could no longer maintain its antiquated laws which treat sports wagering as a criminal activity due to the rapid changes being undertaken in the US.
“By passing this bill Mr Speaker we can put a stop to the billions of dollars going towards organized crime and put that money back into our communities,” said Waugh. “It’s all changed since 2018 – in the United States, they have allowed this. Sports leagues like the NBA, the NHL, they are in favor of sports betting is regulated and it’s time this country followed forward.”
The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has detailed that it will support Masse and Waugh’s latest attempt, with Chief Executive Paul Burns commenting: “Amending the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports wagering will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians, as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer protection while enabling economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments.”
Brian Masse – C-218 Sports Betting Bill Introduction presentation