The House of Commons to determine whether sports betting in Canada becomes legalized and regulated is now officially set for September 21st.
Bill C-221 was first introduced by MP Brian Masse early in 2016, and was immediately met with opposition from parliament. The bill summary states, “This enactment repeals paragraph 207(4)(b) of the 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 sport event or athletic contest.” Meaning government officials in different provinces can decide their own sports betting laws.
Sean Casey, a liberal MP for Charlottetown, was one of the biggest voices against the bill, stating that many major sports’ leagues feared legalized sports betting in Canada could jeopardize the integrity of matches. Casey also stated that “liberals shared these same concerns.”
Casey voiced his fear over the social consequences of making it legal to bet on sports in Canada. He agreed that provinces would likely generate revenue, “but at what cost.” He claimed what while lower-income Canadians were less likely the gamble, they were more likely to experience a gambling problem.
The Fate Will be Determined on September 21st
According to reports, Justin Trudeau is onboard with the bill, and the final decision to legalize sports betting in Canada now rests in the hands of parliament. The house of commons has been officially set for September 21st, and two scenarios are likely to play out.
The first (and perhaps more likely) scenario is for the bill to get squashed after the Justice Committee rejects it. The other option is that the bill gets referred, and eventually approved by the house, at which point it would be sent to the anti-legalize sports wagering members of the Canadian Senate.
It will be a massively important day for the future of sports betting in Canada, so make sure to follow GamingZion’s Canadian gambling news page to stay updated on everything that transpires.