Brian Masse Introduces Single-Wager Sports Betting Bill in Parliament

 Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP)moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, an act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting).

     He said: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for seconding the motion because it is a Canadian province-by-province issue that is very important.
    I am introducing this bill, which many members of this House will know passed through the chamber in the last session of Parliament and should be law today, but was stalled in the Senate, despite support by this very House.
    This bill, the “safe and regulated sports betting act”, would amend the Criminal Code by repealing one very small section which would allow, in effect, sports betting on single-wager sports events in this country by providing the provinces and territories with their choice as to whether or not they would like to make these changes and bring the option to market. Many provinces and municipalities have expressed support, and many private sector businesses, including chambers of commerce, Canadian labour councils, and tourism associations, would like to see these changes made.
    We also know that the economic benefits from this bill would really stimulate the economy. A report back in 2011 concluded this change alone would generate about $70 million in Windsor and $35 million in Niagara Falls and include hundreds of jobs, and even more in spin-off activity in Canada-wide events.
    So, each province that chooses to amend its legislation could potentially benefit from this change.
     Let us stop sending billions annually to organized crime through illegal sports wagering and, instead, put that money back into our social programs like health care, education, problem gambling, and infrastructure.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)