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Canadian single-game sports betting bill faces resistance in the Senate

A handful of Canadian senators are expressing reservations about the proposed bill to legalise single-game sports betting in the country.

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Among those expressing reservations is former Ottawa police chief Vernon White, who has proposed an amendment to the bill, whereby the fixing of a sporting event will be unlawful.

If White’s amendment is approved, Bill C-28 would be sent back to the House of Commons for another vote, meaning that it may not receive final approval before 23 June 2021, when the House and Senate are scheduled to conclude their work for the summer.

White, an independent who sits with the Canadian Senators Group, said that he is not against single-event sports betting in Canada, but that an amendment is needed to make it unlawful to participate in match-fixing.

Match-fixing refers to when a team or athlete participates in a game to a predetermined outcome, either by winning or losing, or affecting in-game statistics, and it is an issue that White feels has yet to be resolved. “My primary concern is that we have not corrected that. And it’s an easy amendment,” he said.

Senator Brent Cotter said the Senate’s banking committee will likely consider White’s proposed amendment: “and if it doesn’t succeed there, my guess is that it might get considered back in the Senate, on the chamber floor at third reading.”

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