February 17th, 2021 - 10:31pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 17, 2021
VICTORY: MASSE’S FORMER SPORTS BETTING BILL PASSED TODAY IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Members of Parliament from all parties voted to support the legalization of single event sports betting
(WINDSOR) – Today, Brian Masse NDP M.P. (Windsor West) former private member’s bill (PMB) legalize single even sports betting, C-218, was passed on second reading in the House of Commons after Question Period. 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 bill now moves to a House of Commons committee for review. In response, the government withdrew their own Bill C-13 in response to the lopsided support for C-218.
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.
The bill, C-218, had the support of MPs from the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois, the Conservatives and the Liberals. This is the third attempt by Masse to pass a bill to legalize single event sports betting since 2011.
The Minister of Justice introduced similar legislation, Bill C-13, on November 26, 2020. On December 10, 2020, Brian Masse moved a motion in Parliament that would see Bill C-13, pass all three stages of debate in the House of Commons with unanimous consent. It did not receive unanimous consent. The government has withdrawn their Bill C-13 after today’s overwhelming vote in favour of C-218.
“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. Today’s overwhelming positive vote from all parties is progress,” Masse said.