February 18, 2021 Sports Betting, Land-Based

Canada House of Commons overwhelmingly backs single-game sports betting bill

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The Canadian House of Commons overwhelmingly carried a bill Wednesday that would legalize single-game sports wagering.

Bill C-218 secured 303 yea votes versus just 15 nays during a second reading vote. Conservative MP Kevin Waugh proposed the bill, which received a second reading on Monday.

The legislation will next be heard by the Justice Committee, which could propose amendments before it receives a third reading by the lower chamber.

Given the enormous support the bill received during its second reading, the House of Commons is all but certain to pass it over to the Senate. If the Senate were also to approve the legislation, it would move on to the Governor-General for Royal Assent.

C-13, a government bill, is also expected to receive a second reading on Friday with a potential vote coming next week. C-13 is sponsored by Federal Justice Minister David Lametti, an indication that the Canadian federal government is in favor of single-game sports wagers.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of the many Liberal Party members to vote for C-218 Wednesday.

“Today’s development in the House of Commons, focusing on the legalization of single event sports betting in Canada, is a significant step forward in the process to amend an outdated law,” said John Levy, CEO of theScore. “The positive outcome of today’s vote demonstrates the continuing momentum and strong cross-party support for this issue. We expect that the legalization of single event sports betting will facilitate the introduction by provinces and territories of a much-needed modernized sports betting framework in their respective jurisdictions that can include important consumer protections and the ability to generate new revenue streams for provincial and territorial governments.”

After years of rejecting single-game sports wagering legalization, Canadian lawmakers have come under pressure from gaming proponents who argue the current ban is draconian.

By British Columbia Lottery Corporation estimations, single-game sports wagering would provide $125m to $175m in additional revenue for online and land-based operators across its province.

BCLC of Gaming Stewart Groumoutis said, “We’re calling on all Members of Parliament to work together collaboratively to legalize single-event betting for the benefit of our players and provinces. Our players want single-event sports betting, and we are ready to provide this enhanced offering to them in a safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of B.C.”

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