Proposed Gambling Bill Fails To Find Support in the Senate

Two years back, Canada dreamt of a Vegas-style casino strip for itself. In spite of having received an all-party approval from the members of House of Commons, the proposed gambling law never saw the light of the day as the Senate is still undecided on it.


No support?

As per the proposed law, every province would get to allow single-game betting. The Conservatives are, however, not open to the idea as they believe that the law lacks the simple majority that is needed to pass such ordinances in the Senate.

Apart from the Conservative leaders, even sports luminaries like Senator Jacques Demers, are not in favour of the proposed law. Demers has also previously coached Montreal Canadiens. Paul Beeston, the president of baseball team Toronto Blue Jays, also supported Demers and mentioned that legalising betting in any form will only lead in the creation of more gamblers and even send out misleading messages to children.

On a contrasting note, Nancy Greene Raine, former Olympic skier mentioned that the players these days do not need to be dependent on betting and gamblers to make money as they are already being paid lot better.

Blame game

Joe Comartin, who is presently the deputy speaker, had sponsored the bill in 2012. It was also supported by Rob Nicholson, who was the justice minister back then. Looking at the lack of support for the ordinance in the Senate, questions are being raised on the bill reviews. Some are even suspicious that the government is trying to use bills initiated by private members as an easy way out to pass proposals. Interestingly, both Comartin and Nicholson have their own casinos.

A delay of two years has also brought the role of Senate in the process of democracy, under the scanner. Senator Bob Runciman, belonging to the Conservative party, mentioned that the party is not right in keeping the bill in hanging for so long.

Presently, single-game betting is not allowed in Canada, though parlay-style wagers are allowed on multiple games. Even in the US, such kind of betting is not permitted. However, it is allowed in Nevada. Taking a hint from it, provinces in Canada too are demanding the right to decide independently whether they want to allow single-game betting or not.