This week could turn out to be a pivotal one for the future of single-event wagering in Canada, as the federal government should announce more details on the legislation this Thursday. Attorney General David Lametti is rumored to shed more light on when the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act would come into power and become a law in the country.
The introduction of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act or also known as Bill C-218 would allow provinces to offer single-event wagering on all sporting events with the exception of live horse racing. The legislation was passed at the Canadian Senate on June 22 and a week later it has received Royal Assent, 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 this Thursday, however, he denied to give more information regarding the announcement. Paul Burns, head of the trade group for the country’s casino industry stated that the federal government could enact the single-event wagering legislation as early as August 12, 2021, or set a new date to come into power.
The Canadian Gaming Association has been critical of Ottawa for not setting a date to enact the bill 40 days after the passing of the legislation. According to the association, over CA$1 billion has been poured into illegal sports by Canadian gamblers since the bill received Royal Assent. This is what the association is trying to prevent and it was one of the top-selling points for lawmakers to pass the bill.
Jack Cunningham, program director at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy claimed that the delay between Royal Assent and coming into force is not something new. But he said that the royal assent usually comes with a date for when the law is going to come into power, which was not the case with the sports betting act.
This week, Kevin Waugh who introduced the legislation as a private member bill in the House of Commons also criticized the government for the delay to implement the law. According to him, the delay is 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. In a letter, Mr. Masse urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to pick out a date for the legislation to be enacted into law. The MP stated that each passing date of no single sports wagering is another day of opportunity for organized crime.
Launch in Ontario
Ontario is also eager to see the legislation come live. The largest Canadian jurisdiction is eyeing an imminent launch of the new gaming offering as soon as the legislation comes into motion. CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Duncan Hannay is optimistic that the new offering can be introduced before the start of the NFL season which will bring a huge spike in betting volume in the province.
Source: “Ottawa to announce single-sports betting details on Thursday”, Yahoo Finance, August 11, 2021