Saskatchewan Senator Puts His Weight Behind Bill C-218

Bill C-218 Saskatchewan image
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Saskatchewan senator, Brent Cotter, has had a change of heart, throwing his support behind Bill C-218.

In a recent surprise move, Saskatchewan senator, Brent Cotter, had a sudden change of heart, saying he will vote for Bill C-218 when it comes in front of the Senate again.  The bill recently passed its second reading in Canada’s upper chamber of parliament.  After the expected positive vote, Canada’s Criminal Code will be amended, allowing single-game sports betting.  

The bill was initially introduced by Saskatchewan MP, Kevin Waugh, to liberalise the Canadian betting market, so punters don’t have to rely exclusively on parlay betting when wagering on their preferred games or favourite teams.

A Step in the Right Direction

In a recent statement, Brent Cotter explained that he would be backing the bill since many professional sports leagues have requested its passing, meaning it is of some value to them. He added that as long as the leagues see no problem with the bill, the legislators should be taking this as an affirmative sign. Cotter also stated that he is confident that single-game sports betting can be regulated responsibly and safely.

After the expected second reading in the Senate, the chamber’s standing committee on banking, trade, and commerce will compile a report on the legislation. Following that, the bill will be sent back to the Senate for a third vote. Nonetheless, the Senate has several other bills which are viewed with higher priority.  To this end, if the bill doesn’t get passed by the beginning of the summer break, the entire process might have to be restarted following the elections.

Even so, Cotter is confident that the bill has an above-average chance of passing. He further explained that the Senate committee is an honourable body, which conducts its business in a well-timed manner.

On the other hand, Cotter raised concerns that officially regulated single-event betting will not resolve gambling addiction problems, although it will undoubtedly help. He clarified that despite single-sport betting being lawfully regulated, some punters will still make compulsive gambling decisions. However, he believes that such behaviours will be happening significantly less due to the Crown corporations’ responsible gambling programmes.

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