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A more than ten-year long struggle finally achieves its goal after the efforts of many

(OTTAWA) – Today, Brian Masse NDP M.P. (Windsor West) was informed that his former private member’s bill (PMB) to legalize single even sports betting, C-218, which passed the House of Commons, the Senate, and received Royal Assent will finally come into force as the law of the land on Thursday August 12 with its proclamation by the government.

What began more than 10 years ago in 2011 with former MP Joe Comartin’s private members bill, which was taken on by Masse after Comartin became deputy speaker and went through several iterations with three bills over the years. With This version gathering support to such an extent where former opponents became its most ardent supporters, passed the Senate June 22. The bill had unanimously passed in the House of Commons (HOC) Justice Committee.  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, which passed the House with 303 in voting in favour and only 15 voting against on February 17.  It had the support of MPs from the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois, the Conservatives, and the Liberals. The bill received royal assent at the end of June. Masse wrote the Prime Minister on Monday August 9 requesting the law be proclaimed and come into force immediately so that Provinces could issue regulations and Canadian casinos could begin to finalize and implement plans to establish new operations and create jobs.

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 is available in Michigan and many other states. It is estimated that the illegal SESB market in Canada is over $10 billion which funds organized crime. With this bill becoming law, it will level the playing field for Canadian casinos and allow provinces to set their own rules and regulations for single event sports betting. It will allow for provinces to establish real consumer protections along funding and assistance for problem gambling while being able to eliminate the illegal black market.

“There are many people and organizations who have worked for years to make this happen. We had to push through every single step of this process for more than a decade. I’m pleased that tomorrow the work on the federal level will be complete and a blow against organized crime will have been achieved along with the opportunity to create a legal, regulated, and modernized sector that provides jobs and opportunities for Canadians and revenues for governments to support important programs across the country. This is what progress looks like,” Masse said.

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