Trudeau's Emergency Recess Puts Sports Betting in Jeopardy

Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, called for an urgent recess of parliament, to implement legislation and access the way forward. This comes in the aftermath of the recent global shortcomings that forced business closures worldwide. The decision was made, says Trudeau, to assist workers and businesses alike, to defeat one of the biggest threats facing the country, since World War Two. With the recess, however, comes many delays in-laws that were in the process of being passed. One such bill, is the C-218, which would have seen, single-event betting, legalized in Canada.

Starting from Scratch

Brian Masse MP of NDP said that despite being promised over a year ago that the bill would be easy to pass, this delay will be devastating for the gambling industry. This C-218 bill, he said during an announcement outside of Caesars in Windsor, had it been passed, would have diverted money from illegal betting by putting it back into the casinos, which would mean an increase in revenue at the casinos. Kevin Waugh, Conservative MP, proposed this bill a year ago and it was awaiting approval, now it has to be reintroduced and start from the beginning again. Masse feels that this is another instance in which a good opportunity has once again been missed.

What Would C-218 Mean for Casinos?

The C-218 bill would have been able to make it easier for the casino workers during these uncertain times, said David Cassidy, president of Unifor 444, which are representatives for the workers at the casinos. The bill could have already been approved and since the casinos are the second-largest employers in the state, it could have helped many of its workers moving forward. Even though the state is in level 3 of the regulations, the casinos remain closed, due to the capped amount of 50 clients allowed per casino. Since the single betting option would be online, this could have assisted in making things easier for casino workers at this stage.

The Way Forward

Sports, Tourism and Cultural Minister Lisa MacLeod, said that the law regarding the capped 50 people permitted at a casino at a time, has been extended to 50 people per room at any facility or events company, as long as the company adheres to the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s plans. Although she did not specifically mention casinos in her announcement. It is still hoped that the bill will be passed once parliament reopens at the end of September.

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