CGA Applauds Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act

CGA lauds proposal of legal sports wagering bill in Canada.

CGA Lauds Proposal of Legal Sports Wagering Bill in Canada

Everyone paying attention to this topic knew this report was coming. Following a thorough inspection of the document in question, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is throwing its full support behind the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act; a bill introduced last week by Saskatoon-Grasswoods Conservative MP Kevin Waugh.

As its short title implies, the private member bill – officially labeled Bill C-218 – is intended to alter the current state of federal law to permit the most crucial form of sports gambling that is currently prohibited. It would allow bettors to place wagers on a single event or outcome. As things stand now, only parlay wagers are permitted, wherein bettors must correctly predict 3 or more results to win anything.

CGA Lauds Legal Sports Wagering Bill in Canada

For decades, Canadians have been privy to legal sports betting, but not in the way other major countries permit it; particularly the United States, which recently lifted a 26-year blanket-ban on sports betting. The Canadian Gaming Association has been pushing for broader sports wagering laws for years now, and wasted no time backing Waugh’s introduction of a PMB that would do just that.

Paul Burns, Chief Executive Officer of the CGA, comments:

Amending the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports wagering will provide provinces with the necessary tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians, as well as the power to address important issues such as consumer protection while enabling economic benefits to flow to licensed gaming operators, communities and provincial governments.”

This amendment will allow us to safeguard the $17.1-billion economic contribution that gaming makes to Canada as well as the 182,500 jobs that support not only individuals but communities. We look forward to working with all political parties to make single-event sports wagering a reality.”

Protecting Consumers in an Industry That Already Exists

As Burns pointed out, single-event sports betting already exists in Canada. With or without the legal approval of the Canadian government, bets are going to be placed. We can let the public go on wagering at offshore internet sports books, and/or with underground bookies of the criminal kind, or we can pass this law to legalize and regulate the activity, creating jobs, boosting the economy, and protecting consumers who are currently placing their wagers on gray and black markets.

If approved, Waugh’s bill – a carbon-copy of NDP MP Brian Masse’s 2016 Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act – would be the simplest of all to enact. All it would take is the addition of the word “or”, and a few taps of the backspace key.

Bill C-218 states its purpose as:

Subsection 207(4) of the Criminal Code is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (a) and by repealing paragraph (b).

That particular portion of the Criminal Code refers to the “definition of a lottery scheme”. If so amended, its reading would change from…

Definition of lottery scheme
     (4) In this section, lottery scheme means a game or any proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g), whether or not it involves betting, pool selling or a pool system of betting other than
          (a) three-card monte, punch board or coin table;
          (b) bookmaking, pool selling or the making or recording of bets, including bets made through the agency of a pool or pari-mutuel system, on any race or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest; or
          (c) for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(b) to (f), a game or proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g) that is operated on or through a computer, video device, slot machine or a dice game.

…to read…

Definition of lottery scheme
     (4) In this section, lottery scheme means a game or any proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g), whether or not it involves betting, pool selling or a pool system of betting other than
          (a) three-card monte, punch board or coin table; or
          (b) (repealed)
          (c) for the purposes of paragraphs (1)(b) to (f), a game or proposal, scheme, plan, means, device, contrivance or operation described in any of paragraphs 206(1)(a) to (g) that is operated on or through a computer, video device, slot machine or a dice game.

The end result would be what Canada’s sports betting enthusiasts have always craved – legal sports wagering on a single event or athletic contest.

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