Kevin Waugh, a Conservative MP in Canada, is sponsoring a bill that intends to regulate single-event sports betting.
The private member’s bill was filed on Tuesday. In this, the aim is to repeal paragraph 207 (4) (b) of the country’s Criminal Code.
Expanding sports betting in Canada
At the moment, Canada’s Criminal Code states that bets on three or more games are legal. However, anything below that is not.
The aim of Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, is to change these rules. Moreover, it would enable provincial and federal governments to take advantage of the country’s black market. As things stand, Waugh estimated that this is worth CAD $14 billion.
Waugh shared his reasoning when the bill was put forward. His words were as follows.
“Let me be clear that single-event sport wagering already exists in this country, and if members do not think so, they are behind the curtains.
“The Canadian single-event sport wagering industry is worth over $14 billion, but most of it, 95% of it, exists underground on the black market or through offshore websites.”
Waugh also argued that a fully-legal sports betting market would generate both jobs and additional revenue within Canada.
Continuing on from the above quotes, he said: “None of that activity is subject to government regulations or taxes; none of it is creating jobs in this country or economic opportunities; and none of it is contributing to consumer protection, education, harm reduction initiatives or support services, which are badly needed in this country.
Another supporter of the bill is Brian Masse, who is an MP for the New Democratic Party.
Two previous attempts to push it through have both failed, but Masse hopes that this is “third time lucky”.
Masse also shared his thoughts on the opportunities that single-event sports betting could bring to Canada. In particular, he turned to the neighbouring US and its repeal of PASPA in 2018.
“The United States has allowed it. Sport leagues, like the NHL and NBA, are in favour of sports betting being regulated. It is time this country follows forward.”