Article published on 3 October 2014

Federal Sports Gambling Bill Stuck in Senate

Single-Game Sports Betting Bill Stalled
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While it seemed that Canadian lawmakers were on the verge of legalising sports gambling in the same Vegas-style that is used in the United States, it has been two years since the initial approval was given. The law has not yet been put to a vote and it seems that the federal sports gambling bill is stuck in the Senate.

The sports gambling bill, Bill C-290, has attracted some unusual responses since it was first introduced by a private member of the House. In fact, many are surprised that a bill that was presented by a private member was so easily passed. In addition to this, another reason that this is particularly unusual is that all the parties in the House of Commons approved the bill. It was unexpected and very unusual that an unelected body would block a law that has been supported by all the parties. However, it seems that the reason that a number of senators have done what they can to keep the bill away from a vote is because there was little debate in the House of Commons regarding the bill.

What is the Federal Sports Gambling Bill?

The federal sports gambling bill allows single-game sports betting. The law that is currently stalled in the Senate would give each province the choice as to whether they would like to allow single-game sports betting or not.

It seems that one of the main reasons that the bill has not yet been put to a vote by the Conservative leadership of the Senate, is because the Conservatives are concerned that even though the bill was passed in the House of Commons by all parties, it may not receive the simple majority it would need to be passed by the Senate.

The bill was passed in the House by a voice vote, which means that there are no recorded votes to be seen. In addition to this, the experts that the House committee consulted were all from the gaming industry, and not from the pro-sports leagues or other fields of expertise. Because the bill seemed to rush through the House, there are questions as to whether the bill received the review that it should have.

Support for Bill C-290

Although Bill C-290 has stalled in the Senate, there is much support from other sectors, such as the Chambers of Commerce in different provinces. There has been support to pass the bill from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation des chambers de commerce du Quebec. There are also a number of municipal representatives, gaming officials, and others who support this bill.

Many support the bill because it is felt that if sports betting is legalised, illegal sports betting would be less prevalent. Legalised sports betting would offer a controlled environment in which punters could place single-game wagers.

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