Ottawa—Unifor joined Windsor-West Member of Parliament Brian Masse for the unveiling of a bi-partisan private members’ bill that would, if adopted, legalize single-event sport betting.
“This is about making Canada in line with the United States, Europe, and many other countries with regards to single-event sports betting,” said Brian Masse at the Tuesday morning news conference. The bill is co-sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh and is anticipated to go to a vote within weeks. “This is a bipartisan effort. This minority parliament really is about making opportunities and making things work,” Masse added. “It’s a simple line in the criminal code that would be eliminated which would allow provinces to define their own destiny with regards to single event sports gaming.”
Masse went on to point out that currently more than ten billion dollars of illegal or offshore money is bet annually and that legalization would allow for implementation of responsible measures while generating revenue for the provinces.
The bill first introduced by the NDP more than a decade ago would amend the Canadian Criminal Code to allow for individuals to place bets on single sporting events. The legislation was introduced again yesterday at 10 a.m. in the House of Commons.
“This is an easy one. The importance of this is about jobs,” said Dave Cassidy, Unifor Local 444 President and Skilled Trades Council Chair. “I think it’s time that we get on and get this thing moved so we can have great paying jobs that will add to our economy. We’re excited.”
Cassidy represents workers at three area-Casinos including Caesars Windsor, Cascades Casino, and Point Edward Casino. “Today, I can go on my phone and I can bet offshore. There’s no responsibility there. But when we have this [legislation], we have checks and balances,” Cassidy added.
Unifor represents a significant number of gaming workers and technicians throughout many communities across Canada. Workers in the gaming industry have long-supported responsible gaming measures and advocated for legislation that allow single-event sports betting. The measure would not only provide substantial revenue opportunities for provincial and federal governments and provide new job opportunities in the gaming industry but also enable responsible gaming and regulation over sports betting, particularly in border areas like the Niagara and Windsor regions.