Legislation tabled to decriminalize single-event sport betting, support jobs
Published Thursday, November 26, 2020 2:06PM EST
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The federal government officially tabled legislation for single-event sport betting, a move expected to support Windsor jobs.
David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the introduction of proposed legislative amendments to paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code Thursday that would permit provinces and territories to regulate and license single event sport betting on any sporting event except horse racing.
“The legalization of single event sport betting will protect 2,500 vital jobs at Caesars Windsor, strengthening a key employer in Windsor-Essex and ensuring we remain competitive with our American counterparts,” said Irek Kusmierczyk, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh. “There have been many people who have advocated hard for this day in Windsor-Essex – a true team effort.”
The federal government would maintain its role in overseeing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.
The proposed amendments are expected to give provinces and territories the discretion to manage single event sport betting in their respective jurisdictions and offer Canadians an opportunity to place bets in a regulated environment either online or in physical facilities.
“The amendments we are proposing today will help create a safe and regulated environment for Canadians who wish to participate in single event sport betting. This Bill would also protect Canadians by taking profits out of the hands of organized crime and will help our economy by supporting jobs,” said Lametti.
By taking illegal betting profits out of the hands of organized crime, the revenues generated from provincial and territorial-operated gambling could be used by provinces and territories to fund programs and services in areas such as health care and education, as they currently do with other lottery revenues.
Government officials said the proposed amendments also clearly respond to calls from labour leaders, particularly in communities along the Canada-U.S. border, following similar changes made in a number of border states.