MP Kevin Waugh wants to take billions of betting dollars away from organized criminals, offshores

Photo courtesy: Kevin Waugh

Conservative Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh wants to give sports betting money back to the people.

Waugh has pushed Bill C-218 through the House of Commons. Next up is the Senate.

“I ask everyone to phone a senator and get this bill passed in the Red Chamber, so that it can become law in Canada. We’d like to see it in June, if possible,” Waugh said on 620 CKRM’s The SportsCage.

“I think we’ve got even odds here, even money. It’s going to take a while, governments don’t work quick, but I think we got a real shot to move this thing out of the Senate and back for Royal Recommendation by the end of June.”

Last year, the Saskatoon-Grasswood MP introduced Bill C-218, the safe and regulated sports betting act as a common-sense change to end an outdated restriction on single-event sports betting, an industry worth an estimated $14 billion in Canada.

“It is illegal to bet single game betting, but at the same token, we know what’s going on in this country to tune of $14 billion dollars. Organized crime, the Hell’s Angels, the mob in Quebec and so on control about $10 billion dollars, and the offshore websites about $4 billion,” Waugh explained.

“So why don’t we shut down the criminal activity in this country by doing it the right way and that’s legalizing single game event betting. And at least take some of that $10 billion away from them and give it to the provinces. We know it’s going on and it’s increasing every day.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie wants you to be able to place a single-game bet on CFL action. Ambrosie signed a joint statement last June with four major pro sports leagues that operate in Canada to urge the government to take ‘prompt action’ and legalize single-game sports betting. Prior to its passage by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Ambrosie wrote to the Committee calling the legislation ‘a vital economic tool’ for the league.

“The league’s themselves, all six professional leagues have endorsed regulated sports betting. That’s the way the business is going whether we like it or not. It’s here, so we might as well benefit from it,” Waugh said.

“I know Rogers and Bell are big supporters of my bill. They leaned on the government very hard because sports is having a tough time right now. The public wants single game, we know that, let’s give it to them. The provinces want this bill more than anything.”

The Saskatoon native and noted Saskatchewan Roughriders fan has admitted his love for CFL football and wants to serve his constituents in the most prudent way. Canadian citizens could benefit from the legalization of single game sports betting.

“We’re only getting $500 million dollars Canada-wide now out of Pro-Line. If people are betting $14 billion single game through criminal, plus the websites, and we’re only getting $500 million now in Canada — the gig is up,” Waugh said.

“I don’t think I can take the $14 billion entirely out of criminals and out of the offshores. At the same time, we’re going to get a lot of those people back into the provincial lottery system.”