Horse Racing Now Excluded From Bill C-218

By Ben Hamill - March 29 2021

Horse Racing Now Excluded From Bill C-218

Horse racing has officially been removed from the bill set to introduce the legal wagering on single sports events in Canada. This after a House committee on Thursday removed horse racing from Bill C-218, which is the legislation seeking to legalise single-event sports betting in the country.

The bill’s previous wording and format would have demanded an extensive overhaul of Canada’s horse racing system – a possibility that greatly worried horse people in the country. It was however late last week decided by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that the horse racing industry will continue to govern itself. This means future sports betting licence holders will not be permitted to offer bets on single-event horse racing as the industry will remain under the authority of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA).

The CPMA collects 0.8% from every wager placed on horse racing in the country, whereafter it distributes the funds to racetracks and across federal and provincial governments.

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Protecting Canada’s Horse People

The funds distributed by the CPMA is the main source of income for those working in Canada’s horse racing industry. As such, the decision to remove horse racing from Canada’s proposed new sports betting bill will in effect protect the livelihood of the country’s some 50,000 horse people.

Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights had reportedly voted unanimously in support of excluding horse racing from Bill C-218. Significant too is that the majority vote once again went in favour of the advancement of Bill C-218 for the legalisation of single-event sports betting.

Next will be for the House to consider any additional amendments that may be deemed necessary. This will happen during the so-called reporting stage, which, due to the upcoming Easter recess, is only anticipated to happen after April 12.

Legalisation Looking Probable

Once the passing of Bill C-218 has been voted on for the third and final time, the bill will then proceed to be read before the Senate, and later on tabled before the Governor-General for Royal Assent.

The initial House vote saw 303 MPs vote in favour of the passing of Bill C-218, with only 15 voting against further advancement of the legislation. This means the bill received a majority show of report across all of Canada’s political parties.

The successful passing of Bill C-218 will mean a massive and impactful boost to the local economy. According to an estimate released by the Canadian Gaming Association, Canadians each year bet about CA$10 billion via illegal bookmakers, and a further CA$4 billion through regulated offshore operators.

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