May 4, 2016
Of course you are most likely well aware that the existing laws on the books with respect to online gambling sites and online sports betting are long overdue for an upgrade. If for no other reason than to establish some sort of commonality with the various jurisdictions. Recall that recently as the4 last administration there were some very positive steps forward in this direction with the introduction of Bill C-290. Unfortunately, Bill C-290 was summarily dismissed by the Upper House of Parliament after being heard no less than the required three readings in the House of Commons.
However there is new hope on the horizon with a new bill being championed by NDP Brian Masse. Masse’s bill is labeled the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act or officially as Bill C-221. Pay attention to the fact that Masse represents the Windsor-West constituency. Interestingly the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce only just recently released a statement concerning Bill C-221. According to this release, the Chamber was intent on scheduling what it termed a ‘strategy session’ the day before Bill C-221 is on the calendar to be heard.
Even more interesting is the list of other attendees at this planned strategy session. Think names such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Labor Congress, the Canadian Gaming Association as well as numerous other online gambling site industry stakeholders. As you might well expect the attendees at this strategy session are quite eager to do whatever it takes to ensure that Bill C-221 makes it all the way through the process.
Will Bill C-221 make it through Parliament this time around? Naturally it is much too early in the game so to speak to accurately predict any outcome of the legislative process. In addition, you readily understand that the legislative process is all about last minute deals and bargains on both sides of the aisle.
Keep in mind that Bill C-221 also needs to make its way all the way through the third reading and subsequent debate in the House of Commons and Senate. You may well recall from last year, that is where it fell apart after rather intense opposition showed up from both the National Hockey League as well as Major League Baseball.
All that being said, perhaps the time has come at last to finally pass online casino and online sports betting legislation such as that found in Bill C-221.
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