Canadian government to oppose single-event sports betting bill
Canada’s ruling Liberal government has announced its intention to oppose a new bill that would legalise wagering on single-game sports in the North American country.
Bill C-221, the ‘Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act’, would amend a section of the country’s criminal code to allow provinces and territories across Canada to allow such wagers in their respective jurisdictions.
Despite support from sponsor New Democratic Party MP Brian Masse, the bill received heavy criticism from Sean Casey, Liberal MP for Charlottetown, PEI and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
Casey cited opposition from North America’s NHL ice hockey league to an earlier, failed bill, C-290, as one of the reasons behind his criticism, as well as saying that the country’s current laws regarding such wagers are helping to combat match-fixing issues across sports and that altering the law could negatively impact this.
In addition, he said that the amendment could also increase problem gambling in regions across Canada, which would outweigh the financial benefits provinces and territories would gain from allowing such wagers.
Speaking in Canada’s House of Commons, Casey said, “opposing this bill means protecting our most vulnerable citizens”, and that passing C-221 would mean “more gambling and will contribute to the many ills to society brought about by problem gambling”.
Related article: Canadian MP set to reintroduce single-event sports betting bill