After several changes, a bill that would allow single-event sports betting in Canada was unanimously approved by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the Canadian Parliament.
The Standing Committee revised C-218 to make it illegal for sportsbooks to sell fixed odds wagering on horse races, in order to protect the industry.
Great news for horse racing industry
Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said: “This is great news for the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports across Canada.
“On behalf of the industry, thank you to the Standing Committee for listening to our perspective and recognising the need to protect horse racing from unintended consequences caused by the legalisation of sports betting.”
Although the horse racing industry traditionally favours sports betting legalisation, Lawson and others in the industry warned committee members of the potential for collateral repercussions if safeguards were not included in the legislation.
Protecting revenue stream
MP Vance Badawey added: “The horse racing industry’s primary source of revenue is wagering through the pari-mutuel system of betting. We must move to protect this revenue stream for the benefit of approximately 50,000 jobs across Canada.”
In Canada’s House of Commons, the single-event sports betting bill is currently awaiting a third reading. Before it goes to the Senate, this is the last move.
The bill is introduced by MP Kevin Waugh, and it would be low on the House’s priority list because it is a private member’s bill rather than a government-backed bill.
Canadian lawmakers scheduled to return on April 12
After the Easter break, Canadian lawmakers are scheduled to return on April 12, although there is speculation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will dissolve Parliament and call elections in June.
Waugh said: “If that were to happen, the bill’s dead. We would start all over again, and this bill would not come forward until at the very earliest 2022.”