Canada's Parliament Passes Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act

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Michael Burns

Canada's Private Members Bill C-218, which amends the Criminal Code of Conduct regarding sports betting, was passed in the House of Commons Wednesday, Feb. 17. It will now continue to the Justice Committee, the Senate, and the Governor-General. A similar bill, C-13, introduced by the federal government to legalize single-event sports wagering while including language to protect the horse racing industry, is scheduled for a second reading Friday. Both are widely expected to pass and pave the way for Canadians to participate in single sports betting, while also adopting language to protect the long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry.

“We continue to be very supportive of the legalization of sports betting and are confident that through the legislative process the government will protect the industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs, generates significant economic activity, and is a way of life for thousands of Canadian families,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, which has legally operated single event wagering through a pari-mutuel model for decades.

“Sports betting in Canada is a significant opportunity for the Canadian economy and equally exciting for sports bettors,” continued Lawson. “We remain highly focused on ensuring the horse racing industry not only is protected but has an opportunity to participate in it in a meaningful way.”

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