November 3rd, 2020 - 8:00pm
Third Legislative Attempt is a Bipartisan Effort from the Start
(OTTAWA)- Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto Critic is going to participate in the debate in the House of Commons on his former private members bill (PMB) to legalize single event sports betting (SESB). The bill was transferred to and introduced by Conservative M.P. Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood), a former television sports journalist, who drew the seventh slot to introduce a PMB, guaranteeing a vote this parliamentary session.
“The legalization of single-event sport betting is a long overdue change that all parties can get behind. Five of North America’s largest sports leagues—the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the Canadian Football League, and Major League Soccer—have all endorsed this legislation. Like most Canadians, these leagues recognize Canada needs a sport betting market that is regulated and protects its citizens and communities, not one that supports offshore gambling sites and criminal enterprises. I encourage all Members of Parliament from all parties to support this commonsense change,” stated Kevin Waugh, M.P. (Saskatoon-Grasswood), Saskatchewan CPC Caucus Chair.
The gaming sector is the largest component of the entertainment industry in Canada accounting for over 250 000 jobs across Canada. In 2018 the United States Supreme court struck down the federal law preventing States from allowing SESB. Since that time 19 states have legalized SESB including New York State and Michigan allows for sports betting in physical a casino which directly threatens the market for Canadian gaming facilities in Niagara Falls, Windsor, Ontario and across the country. Mobile sport betting, which is done through an app on phones, is already available in New Jersey and represents approximately 70 percent of all sports betting in that market and is expected to reach those levels in other jurisdictions. This will be available next year in Michigan and many other states. It is estimated that the illegal SESB market in Canada is over $10 billion which funds organized crime.
“The approval of Single Event Sports Wagering would be an invaluable tool for the Canadian Gaming Industry. It will allow us to match the offerings of our US competitors and will support employment, tourism and the returns to various levels of government,” stated Kevin Laforet, President of Caesars Windsor and former Chair of the Canadian Gaming Association
“Local 444 has been lobbying for years for single event sports gaming to be finally legalized. Now more than ever with the serious competition from the US we need this passed. This will retain and create more jobs as well as attracting the necessary investment to ensure our gaming sector jobs are robust and healthy,” stated Dave Cassidy, Unifor Local 444 President.
“The legalization of single sports betting would allow Windsor-Essex to level the playing field as many state governments are legalizing sports wagering. The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will continue to support legalized single sports betting due to the opportunity for economic growth and diversification, better regulation, and the positive effect on job creation that it offers,” stated Rakesh Naidu, President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“I want to thank MP Kevin Waugh for taking on this bill and using his precious early spot on the PMB order to make this a bipartisan effort. This is the third legislative attempt to get a bill passed. The two previous times it started as just a NDP bill and we built cross party support over time but it never got over the goal line either by being killed by the unelected Senate or not making it out of the House for partisan reasons,” Masse stated. “Now we have bipartisan support from the start to deal with the real challenge to our sector from United States,” Masse said.