Canada House of Commons.

  • Canada could be getting a regulated sports betting industry in 2021 as Bill C-218 will move to the House of Parliament for its third and final reading.
  • Thursday’s committee meeting for the bill had unanimous approval allowing it to move forward for a final vote on whether it will pass or not.
  • Should it receive a favorable vote as expected, Bill C-218 will still need to be approved by the Governor-General for Royal Assent before it becomes official law.

OTTAWA – The Parliament of Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights held a meeting on Thursday to discuss legislation for a regulated single-game sports betting industry in the country.

Bill C-218 would amend the Criminal Code in Canada and give provinces the chance to regulate their own sportsbook market should they choose to open up industries of their own. This is very much the Canadian form of PASPA from the United States point of view.

It’s been said that if all went well in Thursday’s meeting to discuss the bill that the third reading in Parliament where a vote will be taken should turn out favorably. Long story short, all went well in the discussions which means that Canada could have regulated sportsbooks popping up sooner rather than later.

The Meeting

If the amendments and rules were approved during the meeting of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, they could no longer be changed later as Bill C-218 is changing the Criminal Code. So, what’s been agreed upon to move forward would need to stay as-is.

During the meeting, a clause-by-clause breakdown and approval was done on the various parts of the legislation requiring amendments. Vance Badawey spoke on horse racing for Clause One and how it should be written and amended in the documents moving forward to which all agreed by a vote of 11 YEAS and 0 NAYS.

“This amendment to Bill C-218 would ensure that the pari-mutuel system of betting used by the horse racing industry across this country would remain under the regulation of a federal Canadian parimutuel agency,” said Badawey. “The horse racing’s primary source of revenue is horse racing through the pari-mutuel system of betting.”

Clause Two which was not addressed received a favorable vote of 11 YEAS and 0 NAYS. All other clauses were not mentioned in detail because lawmakers had written documents of each but they all received unanimous votes in favor for all of the requested amendments to now send the bill to the House for a third reading where it will be voted on to find out whether or not Bill C-218 will be passed into law.

What The Bill Will Provide Canada With

Bill C-218 will open up the industry for retail and mobile sportsbooks on a province-by-province basis. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) as well as numerous professional leagues in the country back this legislation. Proponents argue that Canada wagers billions of dollars on sports annually and that could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the country should the proposal pass.

After the third reading in the House of Parliament, it is now expected that Canadians will be seeing a regulated sports wagering market as it was said that Thursday’s meeting would be a prelude of what’s to come. Everyone in Thursday’s meeting was unanimously in favor of the bill for single sporting event gambling to become an industry in Canada.

There is no date on the calendar for the third reading hearing yet but once a vote is taken, the Governor-General for Royal Assent will receive the measure and need to greenlight the bill before it can officially become law. However, considering the culmination of all the hearings for Bill C-218, 2021 looks like the year Canada will finally get a regulated sports wagering industry of its own.

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