Federal government to enact single-game sports betting bill Aug. 27

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

The federal government says it will enact legislation that will legalize single-game sports betting in Canada on Aug. 27.

Justice Minister David Lametti says Bill C-218 will allow Canadians to bet on individual games “in a regulated and safe environment.”

The Conservative private member’s bill garnered enthusiasm from legislators in all four main parties.

It passed through the House of Commons in February, was approved by the Senate on June 22 and received royal assent a week later.

It’s aimed at winning back customers from offshore sites, U.S. casinos and illegal bookmakers.

Several provincial governments are already gearing up to take advantage of the new revenue streams.

Thursday’s announcement of a “coming into force date” came a day after the Conservative MP who introduced the bill accused the Liberals of dragging their feet on enacting the legislation.

“This is just another example of the Trudeau Liberals choosing to implement the laws they like, while delaying the ones they don’t,” Kevin Waugh said in a statement Wednesday.

Waugh’s bill marked the third time a would-be law with the same goal has blazed a trail through Parliament, but none have made it this far.

Similar legislation zipped through the House of Commons with all-party support nearly a decade ago but foundered in the Senate and died when an election was called in 2015.

A second attempt by New Democrat MP Brian Masse also failed after the then-Liberal majority voted down his private member’s bill in concert with Conservatives in 2016.

The Liberals then rolled the dice last November with their own legislation, which they subsequently dropped when Waugh agreed to incorporate its protections for the horse-racing industry into his bill.

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