Canada’s sports betting bill advances without horse racing

There's still some way to go for Canada's single-event sports betting bill.
There's still some way to go for Canada's single-event sports betting bill.

Canada’s single-event sports betting bill has passed the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights but without the inclusion of horse racing.

Canada.- A bill that would legalise single-event sports betting in Canada has unanimously passed the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights after undergoing some amendments.

The Standing Committee amended C-218 to prohibit sportsbooks from offering fixed odds wagering on horse racing, a move intended to protect to the industry.

CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, Jim Lawson, said: “This is great news for the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports across Canada.

“On behalf of the industry, thank you to the Standing Committee for listening to our perspective and recognising the need to protect horse racing from unintended consequences caused by the legalisation of sports betting.”

While the horse racing industry generally supports the legalisation of sports betting Lawson and others involved in the sector made committee members aware of collateral consequences they foresee if protections were not included in the legislation.

MP Vance Badawey added: “The horse racing industry’s primary source of revenue is wagering through the pari-mutuel system of betting. We must move to protect this revenue stream for the benefit of approximately 50,000 jobs across Canada.”

Still some way to go for single-event betting

The single-event sports betting bill still must go through a third reading in Canada’s House of Commons. This is the last step before it goes to the Senate.

The bill is sponsored by MP Kevin Waugh, and since it is a private member’s bill as opposed to a government-backed bill, it will be low on the list of priorities for the House.

Canadian legislators are set to return on April 12 after the Easter break, but there is talk that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could dissolve Parliament in spring and call for elections in June.

Waugh told “If that were to happen, the bill’s dead. We would start all over again, and this bill would not come forward until at the very earliest 2022.”

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