moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege to rise in the House this morning to introduce the safe and regulated sports betting act.
I have gotten great support from across the House. I would like to thank the member for Windsor West in particular for his assistance with this legislation and for the seconding of the bill here this morning.
There are others in our caucus who have given great support, such as the members for Essex, Niagara Falls and Calgary Shepard, and I would like to thank them.
This is a historic moment. This is the third time this bill has come to the House. As members know, it passed in 2015 but got stopped in the Senate. Last time, in the 42nd Parliament, it did not make it out. This is third time lucky, as we will join forces with everyone in the House to see if we can move this bill forward.
Let me be clear that single-event sport wagering already exists in this country, and if members do not think so, they are behind the curtains. The Canadian single-event sport wagering industry is worth over $14 billion, but most of it, 95% of it, exists underground on the black market or through offshore websites. These are unregulated sport-wagering sites. None of that activity is subject to government regulations or taxes; none of it is creating jobs in this country or economic opportunities; and none of it is contributing to consumer protection, education, harm reduction initiatives or support services, which are badly needed in this country.
This legislation would amend the Criminal Code to repeal the federal ban on single-event sport betting and allow the provinces to implement a safe and regulated betting environment within the provincial wagering and lottery systems. By passing this bill, we can put a stop to the billions of dollars going to organized crime and put that money back into our communities.
To wrap up, it has all changed since 2018. The United States has allowed it. Sport leagues, like the NHL and NBA, are in favour of sports betting being regulated. It is time this country follows forward. I will have more to say on this bill, but it gives me great pleasure to stand in the House this morning and introduce it.