The proposed bill works to amend the Criminal Code to allow for single-game sports betting, and will work on a provincial level. The simple nature of this change will be helpful in its passing.
There has been some resistance in regard to the bill from First Nations groups that are involved in gambling.
Some of the bill’s proponents have given time frames for the passing of the bill ranging from almost immediately to by the end of 2021.
If the bill passes this stage, individual provinces will need to design their own laws and regulations for sports betting.
Canadians bet C$14.5 billion on sports every year, however it’s estimated that only C$500m of this goes on legal bets. The passing of this bill could then see huge amounts of money flow into the Canadian economy.
“I’m optimistic, but cautiously optimistic; things can fail based on merit or process,” commented Senator David Wells (pictured). “It is straightforward, but like anything, some people will be for it and some people will be against it for their own reasons. If the financial benefits can flow into the country rather than out of the country, then it helps my province, helps all of the provinces and my country.”
Wells has also been surprised by the level of interest shown toward the bill on social media. “Normally, an obscure Senator from Newfoundland tweeting about parliament process gets zero likes and zero comments,” he continued. “It’s a high level of interest. I try not to feed into it, but it’s important for them to get a chance to participate.”