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Canada to take major step towards single...

Canada to take major step towards single-game betting

Published on September 05, 2016

Canada’s lawmakers will vote on a bill amending the national criminal code which would allow single-game betting.

According to Legal Sports Report, the House of Commons is scheduled on September 21 to determine whether to send the legislation called C-221 (Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act) to the Committee on Justice and Human Rights for further deliberation, or to reject the bill.

MP Brian Masse introduced C-221 earlier this year. The summary of the bill states: “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.”

If the bill is successfully referred, it will eventually be submitted to the members of Senate. If the bill is not referred by Justice Committee it will die and will affect Canadian sports betting legislation for years to come. According to parliamentary rule, a bill cannot be re-introduced before a period of five years has expired, therefore in case of a negative reaction towards C-221 this September, it is not likely Canadian parliament would discuss another sports betting bill until 2021.

Proponents of the bill believe that C-221 would give a boost to Canada’s economy, retract money from organised crime and create jobs for people. However, opponents express doubts on whether gambling related crimes will really be solved by the passage of the bill.

Liberal MP Bill Blair expressed his opinion against C-221 earlier this year: “While I appreciate the economic advantages that the proposed reform could bring about, the big concern I have to share is the impact that this proposed change could have on individuals and families, the social costs of gaming.”