Statement by Minister Lametti regarding Royal Assent of Criminal Code amendments on single event sport betting

Statement

June 30, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to welcome the Royal Assent of Private Member’s Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), which will bring the common practice of single event sport betting into a legal, regulated and safe environment, while strengthening our economy and supporting well-paying jobs for Canadians.

“The federal government supports this law reform. Bill C-218 amends paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code to permit provinces and territories to conduct and manage single event betting on any sporting event, except horse racing, which will be maintained by the federal government. The federal government proposed similar amendments through Bill C-13 in November 2020, and I am pleased that the amendments ultimately enacted in Bill C-218 are aligned with this foundational work. Bill C-218 will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

“These amendments to the Criminal Code give provinces and territories the discretion to conduct and manage single event sport betting in their respective jurisdictions and offer Canadians an opportunity to place bets in a regulated environment either online or in physical facilities.

“The revenues generated from this type of gambling could be used by provinces and territories to fund programs and services in areas such as health care and education, as they currently do with other lottery revenues. The amendments clearly respond to calls from labour leaders, particularly in communities along the Canada-U.S. border, following similar changes made in a number of border states.

“Additionally, the Government of Canada is currently engaging with provinces and territories and with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations that have expressed an interest in discussing how gambling is regulated in Canada to better understand and respond to calls for greater opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to participate in the conduct and regulation of gaming in Canada.

“C-218 is a Private Member’s Bill, and as such its passage is the result of cooperation of members from all parties. I want to thank my colleagues Irek Kusmierczyk, the member for Windsor—Tecumseh, Chris Bittle, the member for St. Catharines, Vance Badawey, the member for Niagara Centre, as well as Kevin Waugh, the member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, and Brian Masse, the member for Windsor West. These members, from three different parties, demonstrated how important legislation can drive cooperation across party lines.” 

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
343-575-3279

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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