Canada's single-event sports betting bill voted down by lawmakers

Member of Parliament Brian Masse’s latest attempt to allow Canadian citizens to bet on individual sporting events has come to nothing after his proposed legislation was voted down by the House of Commons.

Masse saw his private members’ bill C-221, originally introduced in February, voted down by the Commons, with 133 MPs voting in favour and 156 against.

The bill aimed to amend Paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code to allow the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a gambling operation that involves betting on a single race, fight, event or athletic contest.

Canada currently only permits parlay betting on multiple events.

This latest attempt to legalise single event betting comes after Masse’s predecessor, Joe Comartin, pushed a similar bill in 2011. His bill appeared likely to pass into law after making it through the Commons with widespread support, only to die in the Senate.

Masse bemoaned the bill’s failure, noting that the MPs have effectively prevented the government from generating additional revenue. This will see billions lost to organised crime and illegal betting, he claimed.

One of the bill’s key supporters, the Canadian Gaming Association, thanked Masse for his efforts and pledged to continue fighting for legal single-event sports betting.


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