Canadian Sports Betting Bill C-218 Enjoys Second Reading, Set For Vote Feb. 17
February 5, 2021
By Tom Nightingale
One of the two bills aimed at legalizing single-event sports betting in Canada, Bill C-218, had a "successful" second reading in parliament on Friday, February 5. It will go to a vote on February 17.
Conservative MP Kevin Waugh introduced the Private Members Bill back in February 2020. In recent months, it has progressed from PMB to a federal government bill after being adopted for parliament debate back in November.
The bill received further cross-party support at its second reading, receiving full advocacy from the Conservatives, the NDP, and Bloc Quebecois, and partial support from the Liberals.
Waugh confirmed that if the bill passes at the Feb. 17 vote, it will go to the justice committee. If it doesn’t pass, the bill is dead.
RELATED: Canadian Sports Betting Bill C-13 On Hold Again in House
It's not the only hope for Canadian singles betting, though.
Bill C-13, an alternative bill introduced by federal Justice Minister David Lametti, was recently delayed again after coming within a single opposing vote of being fast-tracked in the Commons. Further readings are still to come.
Lametti has said the goal of single-event sports betting legislation is "to bring a common practice out of the shadows and into the open. To make it legal, regulated and safe."
RELATED: “Tremendous” Interest in Sports Betting Offers Canadian Gaming a Huge Opportunity
When it comes to sports betting in Canada, there is important context in the U.S. Since legislation was introduced south of the border in 2018, sports betting has exploded in the states, becoming a roaring success in numerous states. In the fall election, several more states took steps forward in introducing sports betting.
Since then, more steps have been taken. Another significant advancement came last week, when Google announced it would begin welcoming real-money gambling and daily fantasy mobile apps directly through its Play Store in 15 more countries including both the U.S. and Canada.
Key Canadian advocates of single-event sports betting legislation, including Waugh and CGA President Paul Burns, have been emphatic about the benefits the legislation would bring. Burns has cited it as a key move in attracting customers back to legal and responsible gambling and in supporting the local and federal gaming industries that have suffered so much during COVID-19.