Canada Fails to Change Online Sports Betting Laws

Published Friday, September 23, 2016 -
Canada Fails to Change Online Sports Betting Laws

The effort that the Canadian New Democratic Party politician from west Windsor Ontario Brian Masse has put forth to have single event betting legalized in Canada has been dismissed by other politicians in debate over the changes.  

Bill C-221 and former Bill C-290 have been in the works for some time and the changes were almost approved prior to Canada’s Federal election last year. Bill C-221, the ‘Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act’, would have amended a section of Canada’s criminal code allowing for legal one sporting event wagering across the nation. Many Canadians already access online sports betting services illegally which is another reason the member of parliament proposed the legislation.

The majority Liberal government when they were in opposition voted for a similar bill put forth by another NDP MP from Windsor Joe Comartin five years ago. Bill C-290 received all-party support and progressed to the Upper House Senate, where it sat unattended for three years and was disposed of after the call for a federal election.

The recent outcome has prompted a response from the Canadian Gaming Association which said that it was “disappointed” with the outcome of the vote on the second reading, the Commons voted 155-133 against the proposed legislation. The Canadian government will continue to lose out on potential tax revenue from this lucrative market.

Chief executive officer of the CGA, Bill Rutsey, commented,  “I regret that I don't have better news for Canadians; those who understand what is at risk, and the benefits that could exist by implementing regulation, are frustrated and dissatisfied by the vote.

“The scales of justice are badly misaligned where this issue is concerned, and I remain baffled that the government of Canada can’t recognise it too.”

 Rutsey added, “The CGA looks forward to working with Members of Parliament to introduce the necessary legislative changes at the earliest opportunity, in order to thwart the illegal and unregulated sports betting market that continues unabated in this country.”




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