Tremendous news for the horse racing industry and its horsemen in Canada, after this Thursday the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights made changes to the private member’s bill that aims to legalize single-events wagers in the country. The proposal to exclude the live harness sector from the proposed change was unanimously passed by the committee ergo fixed odds betting will not be available for the sector.
The bill which will allow the possibility of single-event wagers or as legally known as Private Member’s Bill C-218 was introduced by MP Kevin Waugh a while ago. The proposed change in gaming law has accumulated major support, with both gaming regulators and fans of the industry being eager to witness it become reality.
The horse racing industry was also in favor of the change but industry leaders made it clear that the committee members must be aware of the consequences such change can have on the live harness racing sector. However, the recent news has been a sigh of relief for the fan-favorite harness industry, as its leaders rejoiced over the changes.
CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Jim Lawson was quick to give his feedback on the proposed changes in the legislation. According to him, this is great news for the horse racing sport and the tens thousands of jobs it provides and supports in the country. He also expressed his gratitude towards the Standing Committee for listening to the industry’s stance and recognizing the need for protective measures.
Hall of fame jockey Sandy Hawley and representative of the industry from Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario, Racetracks of Canada, Quebec Jockey Club, and Woodbine Entertainment have been witnesses to the Standing Committee’s hearings for assessing the proposed single-event wagers legalizations bill. The bill will be subject to a Third Reading in the House, and if it is approved, it will be sent to the Senate for further valuation.
In conclusion, Mr. Lawson stated that the industry will continue to monitor the legislation’s progress through the legal organs and the sector’s representatives will remain active to ensure that all needed protections are in order. And he also admitted that such legalization of sports wagering offerings will increase the industry’s competitiveness in the gambling field and that is why the industry must look for additional sources of income to ensure its welfare.
Previous announcement from Woodbine Entertainment saw Mr. Lawson addressed the current live harness scenery and its state during the lockdown restrictions caused by the occurrence of the unprecedented situation. The CEO clarified some of the mandatory conditions that all local and traveling horsepeople must comply with in order to take part in the upcoming competitions.
Historical Horse Racing Request
Along with advocating a safer future for the horse racing sector ahead of the Bill C-218 vote, Racetracks of Canada President Bill Ford has come up with a proposal for the industry to overcome its financial difficulties. Mr. Ford suggested the return of Historical Horse Racing where players would be able to bet on previous events but without knowing any information for the event.
Source: Buffery, Steve “Committee amends betting bill to protect horse racing”, The Sault Star, March 25, 2021