On January 22, 2015, the Canadian Senate passed a bill that will now be sent back to the House of Commons. The bill, Bill C-218, is titled the “Automatic Exclusion Act” and it would amend the federal Gaming Control Act to allow the Casino Association of Saskatchewan (CAS) to temporarily exclude people from casinos and gaming facilities for their “pattern of gaming behaviour”. The bill’s passage is historic, as the Senate has never before allowed a bill to be passed with amendments (it had passed the original House of Commons version). C-218 was controversial when first proposed and debated, but it is finally going to become a law.
There are many bills that will become law in the Canadian Senate this year, and many of them are questionable. Bill C-218 was introduced in April 2017 by the Senator Wayne Drysdale. The bill is named the Responsible Gaming Act and is aimed to prevent gambling addiction and protect children from the negative effects of gambling. This could be a positive step for gambling in Canada, but once again, none of us know what the true effects of the law will be.
In a move that surprised many, Canadian Senator Claudette Tardif from Saskatchewan has changed her vote on Bill C-218, the bill that would legalize and regulate casino’s in Canada. In the past, she has stated that she was against the legalization of casino’s, but has now stated that she now supports the bill. This will be a huge relief to the Canadian Gaming industry, which had been very worried that Tardif would vote against the bill.
Bill C-218 has just passed its second reading in the Canadian Senate. If fully legalized, the bill would amend the country’s criminal code to allow betting on individual events. Recently, Senator Brent Cotter of Saskatchewan suddenly changed his mind on the issue, having previously opposed its introduction by an independent senator. The bill was formally introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh of Saskatchewan and would allow Canadian sports and gaming enthusiasts to bet on one sporting event. The change in gambling laws is long overdue, as Canadians are now required to make bets if they want to bet on their favorite team or game.
Change for the better
Cotter recently said he would support the bill because many professional sports leagues support it; that means it has some value to them. He continued by saying that if the leagues don’t see a problem with the bill, we should take that as a strong statement. He also stated his belief that uncomplicated sports betting can be regulated in a safe and responsible manner. After a successful second reading in the Senate, the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce will issue a report on the bill. The bill will then return to the Senate for a third vote. However, the Senate has several other higher priority bills, and if the bill does not pass before the summer recess, the whole process will have to start over. Cotter thinks the bill has a more than 50% chance of passing, which Senator Waugh has already predicted. Senator Cotter explained that the Senate committee is a volunteer organization that conducts its business in a timely manner. He knows the Senate has other projects to consider, but he still believes the bill can be passed in time. The senator also believes that the formally regulated single betting proposed by the Canadian provinces will not solve the problem of gambling addiction, but will certainly contribute to it. He explained that although betting on a sport is regulated by law, some people are still victims of compulsive gambling. However, he believes that this is far less likely to happen with Crown corporations’ responsible gambling programs.
Like Senator Waugh, Senator Cotter supported the idea that Bill C-218 would benefit the Canadian Football League. Waugh had previously stated that a football league in an unprecedented situation could use the money from the proposed legislation. The league did not play last season due to restrictions and lost between $60 million and $80 million in revenue in Canada, according to an anonymous source.
Position of the Canadian Gaming Association
The Canadian Gaming Association also commented on the legalization of betting on individual events. The association urged the Senate to hurry up and consider Bill C-218, as its introduction cannot wait any longer. The organization has even launched an online support initiative called #bettersportsbetting. The association also fears that Canadians will continue to pump money into unregulated sites while land-based casinos remain closed. Source: Ralph, Dan Saskatchewan senator optimistic about passage of bill betting on game CBC, 26. May 2021Senate Bill C-218, which would move forward the construction of a casino in Saskatchewan, has been approved by the committee. The bill has already passed through the Senate and has now been approved by the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance and Government Operations.. Read more about bill c-218 next steps and let us know what you think.
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