November 26th, 2020
NDP MP welcomes Liberal support of single event sports betting bill, after years of work
OTTAWA - NDP critic for Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto, MP Brian Masse (Windsor West), welcomed the government finally taking the private members bill (PMB) C-218, a bill to legalize single event sports betting (SESB).
“It has taken almost ten years, three parliaments and two prime ministers to do something that would fight organized crime, give consumers protection, create jobs, and address addictions,” said Masse. “The gaming sector is the largest component of the entertainment industry in Canada accounting for over 250,000 jobs across Canada. This bill will ensure these jobs are protected.”
Bill C-218 will repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, allowing Canadians to place bets on single sport events.
In 2018 the United States Supreme court struck down the federal law preventing States from allowing SESB. Since then, 19 states have legalized SESB, including New York State and Michigan, allowing for sports betting in a physical casino, directly threatening the market for Canadian gaming facilities. Additionally, it is estimated that the illegal SESB market in Canada is over $10 billion which funds organized crime.
“It is about time that the Liberal government does something to protect the Canadian gaming industry, after it’s suffered for over a decade,” added Masse. “I’d like to recognize my former colleague, Joe Comartin, who introduced the first bill in 2011, which made it through the House but was killed in the Senate,” added Masse. “I am pleased that his initial push for this bill has finally come to fruition.”