Bill C-218 Moves Forward
Bill C-218 has officially returned to Canada’s Senate. To date, the bill has received a great deal of criticism from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. The First Nation believes that the bill could harm its wellbeing and will see provinces gain the biggest advantage should it be passed. Originally introduced by Kevin Waugh, the Saskatoon Conservative MP, Bill C-218 will see Canadians being allowed to bet on single sporting events as opposed to the current parlay options or on offshore sites.
While the bill has enjoyed plenty of support across the country, last week saw several concerns raised about its introduction.
Opposition To The Bill
Vernon White, a Senator from Ontario, has expressed his opposition to the bill. He believes that Ontario’s Crown corporation will reap most of the benefits, should the bill be passed. Senator White is also concerned that the passing of the bill could enable more possibilities of match-fixing in the country. At present, the Criminal Code is not particularly clear on the complete ban of match-fixing.
On the other hand, Brent Cotter, the Saskatchewan Senator who at first spoke out against the passing of the bill, has had a change of heart. Now, he supports the gaming expansion and believes that it could be the way forward. Furthermore, he is of the opinion that the change that the bill will bring could be handled by each individual province and that this could be done in a manner that is both safe and responsible.
Bill Remains Unchanged
Despite the voicing of the First Nation’s concerns, the bill remains unchanged and will not be amended. In fact, Bill C-218 has been passed by the Senate of Canada’s Banking, Trade and Commerce committee.
Current legislations only allow legal sports betting to be offered by provincial regulators throughout Canada. One of the biggest concerns for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake lies in the fact that this new legislation will exclude the First Nation and would pose a huge threat to the tribe’s already established local gaming industry. Understandably, the inaction of the committee has left the First Nation with a bitter taste.
In response to the progress of the bill, the council issued a statement saying that the tribe is disgusted by Canada’s Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee. The statement also said that by rushing the bill, Kahnawake will lose its ability to control the future of its own economy.