Canadian lawmakers are gearing up for a vote on a sports betting bill that would give local government the power to license regulated bookmakers. The bill is a long ways from becoming a law, but it stands a good chance of at least seeing a vote.
According to a report on LegalSportsReport.com, the Canadian House of Commons is set to vote on C-221 on September 21. If C-221 passes the House of Commons, it will be sent to the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which will determine whether it moves on to the Canadian Senate for a final vote.
C-221 is pretty and, for the most part, repeals previous legislation that prevented provincial governments from executing their own sports betting legislation. A summary of the Bill provided to the press reads:
This enactment repeals paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race or fight or on a single sport event or athletic contest.
Some Canadian political watchers have suggested that America’s northern neighbor is more open to regulated sports betting since the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While that may be true, it doesn’t mean that all Canadians are on board with sports betting for fun and profit.
In a statement to the press, Liberal MP Bill Blair said:
While I appreciate the economic advantages that the proposed reform could bring about, the big concern I have to share is the impact that this proposed change could have on individuals and families, the social costs of gaming.
Blair also added that, whether the bill passed or not, Canadians would probably still continue to use black market bookies because they offer better values than their regulated counterparts.