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Trudeau's Emergency Recess Puts Canadian Sports Betting Bill In Jeopardy Of Failure

Bill C-218 Will Have To Start Anew When Parliament Resumes In Late September


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “emergency recess” of parliament puts legislation that would legalize single-event sports betting in the Great White North in jeopardy.

Sports betting isn’t currently illegal in Canada, as citizens can place wagers at regulated sportsbooks, but it must be on a parlay of at least three events. Gamblers are unable to wager on the outcome of a single event.

That was set to change with bill C-218, which was introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh from Saskatoon-Grasswood, would allow Canadians to bet on a single sporting event.

According to a report from CBC News, a division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the recess negates any progress made on the bill. When parliament resumes in late September, the bill will need to start from scratch, and under a new agenda for lawmakers. Sports betting was on the current agenda before the pause.

Not only was it on the agenda, but according to Windsor MP Brian Masse, it had plenty of support from lawmakers.

“We were promised in this past election that sports betting … would be an easy one to get done and here we are a year later, more problems, more delays,” Masse said during a press conference outside the Caesars property in Windsor.

The Caesars casino in Windsor has been closed since mid-March in response to the spread of coronavirus in Canada, but Masse argued that legalizing sports betting could help the industry continue to survive while brick-and-mortar properties remain closed.

The bill had support from Unifor 444, a union that represents many workers from the casino industry in Windsor.