Bill C-218 Officially Granted Royal Assent

Bill C-218 Royal Assent image
Canadian Governor General's Standard. Image Credit: Shutterstock

After years of haggling and numerous attempts to get the law passed through the legislature, Bill C-218 has finally cleared the last hurdle by being granted a Royal Assent.

Canada has finally taken a step forward with its gaming expansion after Bill C-218, which regulates the sphere of single-event sports betting, became law.  The new law, referred to as The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, has been granted Royal Assent by the Chief justice of Canada, Richard Wagner.

The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act amends the Criminal Code and legalises betting on individual sporting events in Canada. Currently, single-event sports betting is only allowed on horse racing.  Fo the rest, gamblers must place wagers on parlay bets where they need to guess the outcome of two or three events to win.

One Final Step

After its approval in the Senate last week, Bill C-218 was left to clear the final hurdle in the form of royal assent from Canada’s chief justice and current government administrator, Richard Wagner.

Following this, prime minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet will set a date for the legislation to come into power, according to a legal process called order-in-council. After that, the country’s provinces and licensed operators will be able to offer single-event sports betting on everything except horse racing.

Due to it being a private bill introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh in 2020, the legislation has faced multiple legal challenges. This has not been the first attempt to legalise single-event sports betting, as previous bills aiming to do so have failed to pass in parliament. An example of this is bill C-290 which passed the House of Commons vote in 2012 but was voided due to federal elections.

On 24 June, New Democratic Party MP, Brian Masse, stated that this was the third time the legislators attempted to get this bill passed, and it has finally worked. Masse explained that the legislation started as an NDP bill twice previously, yet despite its support, it never got over the finish line.

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