Only two weeks remain until Parliament rises for the summer, and sportsbetting reformists are getting their message out now to pressure Senators into voting on the sportsbetting bill, known as Bill C-290. MP Brian Masse, the leader of the sportsbetting reformists, will host what his office describes as a “rainbow coalition” of single game betting supporters in his Windsor riding on Friday.
The rally to support Bill C-290 will be held at Charles Clark Square, near the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. Masse is hosting the event, and invited a number of keynote speakers from several industries to support the rally. Chief among these special guests are Kevin Laforet, CEO of the Caesars Windsor casino; Matt Marchand, President of the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce; and Dino Chiodo, President of CAW Local 444 in Windsor.
Masse describes the collective support for Bill C-290 as a unified agreement that amending Canada’s sportsbetting laws are in the best interests of the Canadian economy.
“It’s really a unique circumstance to see both labour and business on the same side strongly supporting the same piece of legislation.”
Masse, an NDP MP, was one of the architects of Bill C-290, which was introduced to the House of Commons in September, 2011. The bill passed through the House of Commons with near unanimous support from all political parties, but hit roadblocks in the Senate. Senators decided to delay putting the bill to a debate, and allow the Parliamentary session to expire, which automatically removes outstanding legislation from the table.
If Bill C-290 becomes law, provinces will have the final say on whether to legalize single game bets within their jurisdictions. Masse and other single game betting supporters argue that Canadians already bet on single matches using online casinos based outside of Canada’s borders. The MP says millions of dollars are lost to the Canadian economy by maintaining the status quo. He also argues that authorizing Canadian casinos to legally allow single game bets will bring American tourists back across the border as sportsbetting is considered illegal in the US.
Laforet and other casino executives support motions that bring more tourists to Canadian gambling centres, and the CAW maintains that legal single game bets will provide more business to secure good-paying casino jobs. Social community groups, police departments, and the majority of provincial governments also expressed their support for sportsbetting reform.
Masse and his “rainbow coalition” encourage all supporters of Bill C-290 to attend the Charles Clark Square rally, and promote to all Canadians what he describes as the final chance to save the sportsbetting bill.