Anti-cheating amendments added to Canadian sports betting bill

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Canada’s sports betting legislation gets closer to a final vote after given third reading in the Senate.

Senator David Wells (pictured) has given bill C-218 its third reading in the Canadian Senate and the law looks to amend the country’s criminal code, repealing the legislation that makes sport betting legal only when betting on three or more events at once.

Conversations in the Senate centered on the ways cheating can be prevented and punished.

Senator Peter Harder commented: “While Canada is now regarded as a leader in the global anti-doping movement, we must now take a more proactive stance regarding match manipulation. These sorts of actions lead to a feeling of betrayal among sports supporters. If single-game betting is allowed without the issue of match manipulation being addressed, it also risks dissuading individuals who want to lay bets in the first place. Why bother if you can’t trust that the dice aren’t loaded?”

In response, an amendment to the bill was suggested that would see a person deemed to have committed a criminal offence should they cheat at gambling. It went on to confirm that even if someone cheats and loses, they should still be punished. A sentence of up to two years in prison was suggested.

During the third reading, Wells said: “$14 billion is being spent by Canadians on single-event sports betting, these bets are being placed every day on offshore gambling sites. These black and gray market activities are happening outside of Canada’s legal framework and therefore are not subject to any regulations and taxes are not being collected on revenues.”

He continued “While we cannot dictate the regulatory practices of Canada’s provincial governments, what we can do is make this modification to one line of the criminal code, thereby empowering them to safely bring single-event sports betting within Canada. The regulations that would be enacted and bolstered around this activity are tangible and urgently needed.”

The Senate session concluded before the legislation could be voted on.

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