This week could be a significant moment for single-event wagering in Canada, as the federal government is expected to release further details on the legislation on Thursday. Attorney General David Lametti is expected to provide further information about when the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act would come into power and become a law in the country.
The introduction of Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, would allow provinces to provide single-event wagering on all sporting events except live horse racing. The legislation was passed by the Canadian Senate on June 22 and received Royal Assent a week later, but it is since then at a cooldown.
Thursday Could be Crucial
Member of Mr. Lametti’s office confirmed that the minister will be attending an event in Niagara Falls on Thursday, but refused to provide any other details on the announcement. The federal government might approve single-event wagering legislation as early as August 12, 2021, or set a new date to come into power, according to Paul Burns, the head of the country’s casino industry trade group.
The Canadian Gaming Association has been critical of Ottawa for failing to specify a date for enacting the bill 40 days after it was passed. Since the bill’s Royal Assent, Canadian gamblers have invested almost CA$1 billion into illegal sports, according to the association. This is what the association is attempting to prevent, and it was one of the top-selling points for lawmakers to pass the bill.
The delay between Royal Assent and coming into law, according to Jack Cunningham, program director at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, is not new. However, he noted that, in most cases, royal assent comes with a date for when the law is going to come into power, which was not the case with the sports betting act.
Kevin Waugh, who proposed the legislation as a private member’s bill in the House of Commons this week, also criticized the government for the delay to implement the law. The delay, he claims, is yet another example of Trudeau Liberals preferring to implement laws they are fond of instead of the ones they do not.
MP Says Go Ahead
Additionally, this week Windsor West MP Brian Masse has also weighed in on the subject of single-sports betting. Mr. Masse urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a letter to set a date for the legislation to become law. Every day that no single sports wagering passes is another day of chance for organized crime, according to the MP.
Launch in Ontario
Ontario is likewise looking forward to the implementation of the legislation. As soon as the legislation is in place, the largest Canadian jurisdiction plans to introduce the new gaming offering as soon as possible. Duncan Hannay, CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, is optimistic that the new offering will be available before the start of the NFL season, which is expected to bring a significant increase in betting volume to the province.