Sports Wagering Bill Heads to Royal Assent in Canada


Jim Lawson | Michael Burns

The Senate of Canada passed Sports Betting Legislation (Bill C-218) at Third Reading debate on Tuesday. The Bill will now proceed to Royal Assent, the final milestone to legalize single event sports wagering in Canada.

“This is a significant day for what is now an emerging sector in Canada that will regulate sports betting, generate new revenues and create new jobs,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “Congratulations to the Federal Government for taking this important step forward and creating a substantial opportunity for the Canadian economy.”

Bill C-218, which was introduced by MP Kevin Waugh, includes protection for the horse racing industry and the more than 50,000 jobs it supports throughout Canada by prohibiting fixed odds wagering on the sport. The amendment to the Bill was a result of a collaborative effort by the horse racing industry across the country.

“We look forward to continuing discussions with provincial authorities and prospective partners that could provide this new sector with an opportunity to leverage our experience in offering legal single event sports wagering in Canada,” Lawson said. “At the same time, participating in sports betting would provide an opportunity to create new a revenue stream for our industry and expose horse racing to new fans in an evolving sports marketplace.

“Recognizing that this new sector will create more options for the Canadian sports bettor, participating in offering sports betting is critically important for the sustainability of the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports throughout the country.”

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