Room for Hope with Canadian Sports Betting Act in Senate
All is not lost in sports betting Canada despite apparent challenges.
That was just a week ago Kevin Waugh, the bill sponsor for C-218, expressed doubts about the Senate’s ability to pass laws that would pave the way for single-game sports betting in Canada.
But at least one senator from Waugh’s home province Saskatchewan believes the chances of the bill going into effect are better than the 50:50 set by the MP. Independent Senator Brent Cotter admitted to the Canadian press that time was one of the key issues in getting it passed, but was confident the Senate should be able to get through.
Second reading down
C-218 was read and passed for the second time in the Canadian Senate last week. Passing the second reading sends a bill to the committee; in this case it is Standing Committee on Banking, Commerce and Industry of the Senate.
The committee will examine the bill line by line (which is not a huge task in this case as the entire bill is just a handful of lines of text), hold a hearing if necessary, evaluate the legislation, and then submit a report to the Senate.
More about the committee
The Standing Committee charged with reviewing the law is led by Senator. directed Howard Wettton, a member of the Independent Senatorial Group who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016.
The committee also has two vice-chairs. One is Larry W. Smith, a Conservative Senator and former full-back and later CEO for the Montreal Alouettes of Compact fluorescent lamps. Smith is also a former league commissioner and on the board of directors Canadian Olympic Committee.
The other vice chairman is a longtime Canadian broadcaster and former Chancellor of the University of Welfen, Senator Pamela Wallin, who is part of the Canadian Senators Group.
The rest of the group
There are nine other members of the Senate Standing Committee who will review the legislation:
Members of the Group of Independent Senators include:
- Senator Diane Bellemare
- Senator Colin Deacon
- Senator Tony Loffreda
- Senator Lucie Moncion
- Senator Pierrette Ringuette
Conservative members are:
- Senator Elizabeth Marshall
- Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen
There is also one Senator from the Progressive Senators Group (Marty Klyne) and one from the Canadian Senators Group (Jean-Guy Dagenais.)
Does group membership mean a lot?
It’s hard to say whether Senator affiliation makes sense. As Waugh noted earlier, he wasn’t sure how a private Senate bill would play out.
It’s hard to say whether the Senate composition harms the bill, especially given the widespread support the bill appears to enjoy.
Getting around on Canada Sports Betting
Cotter noted that he was originally not in favor of legalizing single game sports betting in Canada, but he has changed his mind. The impact of the pandemic on Canadian sport and the impact of the pandemic on the CFL were among the reasons Cotter cited for his change of mind.
The support of the sports leagues is another plus point
Cotter also cited supporting professional sports leagues as to why he sees sports betting differently now.
After all, the 2012 leagues, when the first push was to repeal the provision of Canada’s Criminal Code restricting sports betting in Canada to parlays, closed a whopping 180.
Time is still of the essence
The Senate Standing Committee is expected to begin work on the report in the coming week, which will be sent back to the entire Senate. For the coming week, however, there did not appear to be any meetings of the Standing Committee as of Sunday.
While Cotter gave the bill better chances of getting it passed than Waugh, there remains a ticking clock to get it done before the senators go home at the end of the year June. Expecting an election in the fall would mean that all pending laws will be deleted.
Urgently needed money for the CFL
The Canadian press article quoted Cotter and Waugh’s desire to do something that could benefit the CFL. not as NFL, the CFL has canceled its 2020 season.
According to Canadian press sources, the league’s COVID-related losses are somewhere between $ 60 and $ 80 million CAD.
More work to be done?
There is still work to be done before single game sports betting is legal in Canada. The Senate clock is ticking on Bill C-218, which not only has to come out of committee and get its third reading, but then has to be sent back to the House of Representatives before the end of June.
Everything that has to happen before you can go into acting Governor General for Royal Assent Ass.