Last week was a significant moment for the Canadian sports and gaming industries, as the country became the first in the world to allow wagering on individual sporting events. On Friday, Windsor West MP Brian Masse made a public appearance at Caesars Windsor Casino and welcomed the new offering. He’s now looking forward to see how provinces execute the change.

The legalization of Bill C-218, which modifies the Criminal Code to allow single-sport wagering, has prepared the path for its implementation. The legislation was introduced by Tory MP Kevin Waugh, and it was passed by the Canadian Senate on June 22, 2021, and got Royal Assent a week later. The bill was officially enacted as a law by the federal government on August 27.

Friday Celebrations

Mr. Masse, along with members of Unifor Local 444, officially welcomed single-sport betting in Canada on Friday at Caesars Windsor Casino. The Windsor West MP argued that the Liberals have taken credit for  the passing of the legislation, but that Mr. Waugh should be praised as well for his role in introducing the bill.

Single-event wagering would have arrived faster, according to Mr. Masse, if it was not for the federal Liberals’ and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s lack of support. The MP said that the federal government attempted to suppress efforts to legalize single-sport betting, but that in the end, people have won.

Dana Dunphy, a chairperson for Caesars Windsor Casino workers represented by Unifor Local 444, praised Mr. Masse for supporting the casino and the staff through the years. According to her, the introduction of single-sports betting will result in additional job positions at the casino and a wider range of betting variety for patrons.  She says that this way the casino would be more competitive as it is bordering with three US casinos.

Mr. Masse’s contribution and support for the region were also praised by Labour leader Ken Lewenza Sr., who was also present at the Friday meeting. Mr. Lewenza Sr. stated that he and the MP discussed the matter more than a decade ago. He also credited Mr. Masse and the New Democrats for their hard work on bringing single-sports betting.

Letter to the Prime Minister

Ms. Masse sent a letter of request to Mr. Trudeau’s office just before the official announcement from the federal government announcing the enactment of Bill C-218. Mr. Masse urged the Prime Minister to speed up the legal process and make the legislation a law in his letter. He also explained that there was no reason for the delay from the federal government.

Long-Awaited News

Not long after Ms. Masse’s letter to the Prime Minister, the federal government enacted the bill as a law in the country.  At an appearance at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls on August 12, 2021, Justice Minister David Lametti stated that single-sport betting will be legalized on August 27, 2021. When offering this new betting option, provinces will now have to regulate their own rules.