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Canadian MP Sponsoring Single-Event Betting Bill. Full Support From CGA

Posted on February 28, 2020 | 5:06 pm

Kevin Waugh, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood and Chair of the Conservative Saskatchewan Caucus, is backing the legalization of single-event sports betting throughout the country by sponsoring a bill intended to allow such bets.

Filled on February 25, the bill aims to revoke paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Canadian Criminal Code and ensure gambling operators can offer wagering on a single sports event or athletic contest. At the moment, the aforementioned Law allows betting only if the ticket comprises at least three games.

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What C-218 Is All About

The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (Bill C-218) offered by Kevin Waugh, aims to amend the Criminal Code and make it legal to wager on the outcome of a single sporting event.

This change would help provincial and federal governments attract funds that currently boost the illegal market, estimated to be worth hefty CAD$14bn. 

Presenting the bill, Waugh said:

“Let me be clear that single-event sport wagering already exists in this country, and if members do not think so, they are behind the curtains. The Canadian single-event sport wagering industry is worth over $14 billion, but most of it, 95% of it, exists underground on the black market or through offshore websites.“

“These are unregulated sport-wagering sites,” he added. “None of that activity is subject to government regulations or taxes; none of it is creating jobs in this country or economic opportunities; and none of it is contributing to consumer protection, education, harm reduction initiatives or support services, which are badly needed in this country.”

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Third Time’s The Charm

It’s not the first try to make legal single-event betting in Canada. In fact, it’s the third one in a row, so Waugh believes it would prove “third time lucky” after the previous two unsuccessful attempts.

He added: “By passing this bill, we can put a stop to the billions of dollars going to organized crime and put that money back into our communities. [It] has all changed since 2018. The United States has allowed it. Sport leagues, like the NHL and NBA, are in favour of sports betting being regulated. It is time this country follows forward.”

In its turn…

…the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) gave full support to C-218 and the way it was introduced by Kevin Waugh. Paul Burns, the CGA CEO commented: “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.“

He also expressed confidence that provinces will get more power and opportunities to address such actual issues as consumer protection, at the same time bringing economic benefits to communities and operators.

Source: Harrison Millan, Robin. “Canadian lawmaker makes new single-event betting push“. iGB North America. February 26, 2020.

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