Canada’s Single Event Sports Betting Bill Faces More Challenges

More challenges for those trying to amend the law on single event sports wagering in Canada appear on the legislative horizon after the Liberal Party government prorogued Parliament until September 23.

The decision to adjourn Parliament and Commons is a blow to the advancement of the third effort to introduce a legislative system for ‘single sports wagering’ through Bill C-221, Canadian betting.

Approved by long-term sports betting advocate Brian Masse, Windsor West Ontario delegate, last February Bill C-221 was introduced to the Commons with sponsors urging MPs to support the latest mandate as the Canadian sports environment had been altered by US pro-leagues allowing for supervised wagering.

Bill C-221 ‘The Safe & Regulated Sports Act,’ presented to Parliament by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, has been stated to be pending its secondary readings.

High hopes have been put on Bill C-221 to ensure a 2020 passage, as this summer the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) ‘made a crucial effort’ to gain support from U.S. and Professional sports leagues and franchisees in Canada to create a sports betting system approved by the federal government.

Reacting to Parliament’s closing, Masse outlined his concerns as Bill C-221 faces a new legislative agenda following the reopening of September.

“We were promised in this past election that sports betting … would be an easy one to get done and here we are a year later, more problems, more delays,” he said.

The decision of the ruling Liberal Party to prorogue the Parliament was met by an uproar from the opposition, which accused the Government of intentionally impeding an inquiry into the association of PM Justin Trudeau with the scandal-ridden WE Charity over the abuse of its government-sanctioned $900 million student grant program.

The WE Charity scandal’s aftermath has seen Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau withdraw from the government of PM Trudeau.

In response to criticism, Trudeau has said the Liberal Party this September will hold a vote of confidence on its leadership. In his closing speech to Parliament, Trudeau emphasised that the Liberal Party needed a new course on its policy agenda as Canada prepares for its general election in 2021.