Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

  • Canada sports betting legalization is experiencing further delays as the Parliament and Commons have been recessed until September 23.
  • Bill C-221 has tried to make single-game sports wagering legal in Canada since 2016.

OTTAWA – When it comes to sports betting in Canada and its legalization, sponsor and Windsor West Ontario representative to Bill C-221, Brian Masse cannot catch a break as discussions have been delayed until September 23.

The proposal that would make gambling on single sporting events legal in the country has been trying to become law since 2016 when it was originally introduced.

It was brought up again in February where lawmakers were certain that Bill C-221 would finally come to fruition. Enter COVID-19 and the halt to most all things in Parliament that were not deemed essential points of business like that of sports betting.

What Another Delay Means For A Canadian Sports Betting Industry

The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act which is another name for the bill was first brought to the table in February of 2016. Four years later it’s continuing to try and gain traction in Parliament.

It’s previous attempts to become law have failed but 2020 looked as though Canada would finally see a more fully developed legal sports betting industry through this piece of legislation.

Why was 2020 looking to be the favorable year? For one, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) was now backing the bill. They went as far as researching other markets worldwide to be able to develop a structure for their own when the pastime became legal.

The CGA realizes that Canadians gamble on sports matches through the use of other outlets and would like to allow citizens the opportunity at a safe and transparent legal industry within their own country.

“Amending the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports wagering will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians, as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer protection while enabling economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments,” said Paul Burns, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association.

The CGA estimates $17.1 billion could be safeguarded from the gaming market throughout the country and benefit the economy with both money and 182,5000 jobs if the bill were to pass.

Over the summer the CGA worked at opening up lines of communication for both major sports leagues within Canada and the US in preparation for what looked to be a sure thing.

Now What?

The Parliament and Commons were placed on recess until the end of September by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party. This means that Bill C-221 will need to start from the beginning when they reconvene.

Rumors about the sudden recess are that it was done because Trudeau is currently the center of a scandal over misusing $900 million in money that was supposed to be used toward student grant funding in the country.

Bill sponsor Masse is disenchanted with this delay as he was told this session would be an easy one to pass sports betting into law. Now with the further delays of a bill that’s already been circulating for four years, it feels as though more problems lie ahead for the future of the gambling on the sports industry in Canada.

But Trudeau promises that decisions will be made in September and votes will be taken. He maintains that this lull in the session is merely to help the Liberal Party take on a direction prior to the 2021 General Election and for no other reason.

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