After any piece of legislation passes second reading as Kevin Waugh – MP for Saskatoon – Grasswood’s Bill C-218 (The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act) did last week, it is sent to a committee for further study, testimony from experts and stakeholders, and to consider amendments. 

In the video (shown above) Waugh appeared before the Justice Committee to discuss and give an opening statement on his bill. 

“The fact that single event betting remains prohibited means that the provinces which are typically responsible for management of lottery and betting systems are totally unable to regulate this industry. As such, none of these websites or bookmakers are subject to any regulation or taxes. 

“By not being subject to regulation or government oversight these websites have no consumer protection requirements, aren’t required to maintain or support problem gambling programmes, and don’t reinvest or spur any further economic activity in the communities that they generate their profits from. This means that all of the profits from such wagers go straight into the pockets of foreign website operators and criminals.”

Parlay betting, which requires bettors to select the winners of multiple games, currently is legal and already exists as a product available in Canada. However, Parlay betting products like pro-line and sports select generate only a small fraction of the sports betting in the country at approximately $500m a year. 

Waugh continued: “By removing these restrictions in the Criminal Code and putting single event betting into the hands of the provincial governments, the provinces will be able to offer the products that bettors actually want to bet on and take betting out of the hands of this black market.

He stated that the passing of the bill can redistribute ‘billions of dollars that currently go to offshores sites and criminal organisations are actually going back into our communities, creating jobs and supporting community programmes’. 

“The legalisation of single event sport betting provides a much needed opportunity to tackle illegal gambling in this country and create new opportunities for economic development and new avenues for a variety of factors especially given the difficult times that we find ourselves in,” he added.

The bill was first introduced by Waugh back in February of 2020 aiming to legalise single-event sports betting in Canada, to allow the provincial governments to regulate it properly and ensure that it is being managed in a safe and responsible way, as the provincial governments already do with other sorts of gaming.

On Thursday, November 27th, 2020, the Government announced their plans to adopt Waugh’s Private Member’s Bill as government legislation. 

Kevin Waugh on his Canadian Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act