The clock is tickingToday is an important day for Canada’s ambitions to legalise single-event sports betting.
Bill C-218 also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act – sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh in the elected House of Commons – was passed back in April with broad political support but has been in limbo since then.
The bill was given its third reading in the Senate on Thursday and adjourned to Monday 21 June for its fourth reading. On Monday, Canadian senators turned down by a wide margin an amendment that would have kept lawmakers from giving a final reading to the bill.
The final vote was finally deferred to today.
The timing is crucial given that it’s the last week of activity for the Canadian Senate before its summer break on Wednesday.
Major effectsThe impatience around bill C-218 is palpable. Indeed, if passed the legislation would end the longstanding ban on single-game sports betting in the country. A ban introduced more than 30 years ago into Canada’s Criminal Code to prevent match-fixing.
The bill would only make a small tweak to the text of Canada’s Criminal Code, but it could have major effects on the country’s gambling sector, as sports betting is only legal in parlay form for the moment.
With this bill, Canada is on the verge to make it legal for provinces and those they license to conduct and manage single-event sports betting on everything except horse racing, wagering for which would remain under federal scrutiny.
Yet the bill has prompted concerns and questions from some senators about match-fixing and Indigenous rights.