Sportsbetting Bill Sponsor Makes Final Case

NDP MP Brian Masse, the lead sponsor of Canada’s sportsbetting bill dubbed Bill C-290, is staging a last ditch effort to get the legislation passed into law.  Masse pleaded his case within the House of Commons yesterday by demanding the Conservative government convince its own appointed Senators to stop holding up the legislation.

Masse took over as the spokesperson for Bill C-290 after Joe Comartin, the bill’s main architect, became deputy speaker of the House of Commons, and is therefore required to remain neutral on legislative matters.  Masse represents the Windsor-Essex County riding, which is home to the Caesars Windsor casino.  The MP argues that legalized single game bets would provide Caesars and other border town casinos a competitive edge over their American counterparts, where sportsbetting is illegal.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Masse spoke to the Speaker of the House of Commons, and demanded that the Conservatives, who supported the bill within the House, stand up to undermining Senators.

In addition to all-party support in the elected House, both business and labour groups across Canada are fans of C-290.  The government is blowing this call, turning a blind eye to a major interference penalty from a small group of unaccountable Senators, clogging up the progress of this critical bill.”

Masse argues that Canada’s sportsbetting laws are outdated with modern technology.  Canadians can access offshore sportsbetting sites and online casinos to bet on single game matches, regardless of the laws.  But money wagered within offshore accounts is money lost to the Canadian economy, which Masse estimates costs Canada millions of dollars every year.  He believes that legalizing single game bets is practical for the economy as well as accountable for player safety.

North America’s major sports leagues collectively oppose the single game betting legislation, and presented their arguments to Senate committees earlier this year.  The arguments convinced a majority of Senators to oppose Bill C-290 despite overwhelming support across Canada. 

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