7 Jun

Clock Ticking for Gambling on Sports in CA

Only two weeks left to pass Canada single game betting bill.

Only Two Weeks Left to Pass Canada Single Game Betting BillFor nearly a decade, Canada’s appurtenant politicians have been working to amend federal laws as they pertain to gambling on sporting events. The act is not illegal, mind you. Current laws provide for a sports lottery, in which bettors can select multiple outcomes; a system known colloquially as parlay betting. What is not legal – the very thing so many officials have been trying to legalize all these years – is the option to place a single wager, on the outcome of a single event.

Earlier this year, hope was renewed ten-fold when the House of Commons picked up a piece of legislation introduced last year. Bill C-218, last year by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon–Grasswoods), suddenly began moving at break-neck pace. Once it hit the, passage seemed imminent. Now, however, the bill has just two weeks and two days for final approval before it hits another brick wall.

Two Weeks to Pass Canada Single Game Betting Bill

The Senate has put a respectable amount of work in on Bill C-218 since it arrived in their offices in April. Upon arrival – a most notable arrival, at that, having received bi-partisan support from conservative, liberal, NDP and bloc parties – the Senate immediately began the first-reading appraisal of the text. A second reading, with opining submissions from colleagues, took place on May 25.

Last week, the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Commission spent two days listening to testimony from a wide range of witnesses. They included national gaming figureheads like Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canada Gaming Association (CGA), and Randy Ambrosie, Commisisoner of the Canadian Football League (CFL), among others.

On the regulatory side of the equation, the Senate heard from Kahnawake Mohawk Council Chief Gina Deer, President and CEO of the Indian Gaming Authority, and Stewawrt Grotis, Director of eGaming with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). The voice of player protection over prosperity came from Sherry White, CEO of the Responsible Gaming Council.

With all sides represented and accounted for, support for the bill remains strong. However, at least one hurdle remains before the Senate is likely to call for a vote.

Match Fixing Flaw in Bill C-218 an Easy Fix

Vernon White is an independent member of the Canadian Senator’s Group and former Ottawa Police Chief. White says he is not against passage of the CA sports betting bill. However, he did point out what he believes to be one significant flaw in its verbiage. There is no amendment that would make it illegal to aid in match fixing.

In sports, match fixing is a term that relates to a person or group influencing the result of a contest. For example, an athlete that accepts a pay off to throw a game; a quarterback intentionally throwing bad passes, or a boxer taking a fall, a referee making erroneous calls. In such cases, the payer and payee should be held accountable. It’s a stipulation White believes this bill could easily put in place.

“My primary concern is that we have not corrected that,” said White, “and it’s an easy amendment.”

All things considered, it is still believed that this measure will pass into law. Even Senator Brent Cotter, an official critic of the bill, is calling himself “more a proponent, I think, than a critic”. The real question at this point is when.

As fast as the Canada single game betting bill has been moving, odds of passage prior to the summer break are becoming a long shot, at best. Once the House and Senate breaks for the season, they will not reconvene until September 21.

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