The case against C-290

by Aaron Wherry

Michael Chong explains why he opposes the sports betting bill.

Finally, single game betting undermines the integrity of professional and amateur sport. There has not been a major betting scandal in North America since Major League Baseball created the Commissioner of Baseball in response to the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. In Europe, where single game betting is legal, sport is rife with game-fixing scandals. Professional leagues, along with the NCAA (of which Simon Fraser University is a member), will take a tough line on Canada if this bill passes. The NCAA bans all championships in jurisdictions where single game betting is legalized.

A very different, and perhaps the most important, reason for the Senate to defeat this bill is process. The Globe and Mail reported that “this bill was passed unanimously by the House.” In fact, a number of MPs, myself included, are opposed to this bill. In a highly unusual occurrence, debate on this bill collapsed and it passed through all stages without a standing vote. To my knowledge, no opposition private members’ bill has ever passed through the House of Commons in this manner. For this reason, a defeat of this bill would not be inconsistent with the wishes of the House, as those wishes were never properly recorded in a vote.

I suppose it depends on your definition of “major,” but the last century of North American pro sports isn’t quite clean: including Pete Rose, Tim Donaghy, Alex Karras and Paul Hornung and various NCAA point-shaving scandals.

Senator David Braley, who owns the B.C. Lions and the Toronto Argonauts, supports the bill.




Browse

The case against C-290

  1. Aaron, could you provide some enlightenment to the circumstances he speaks of when he says “debate on this bill collapsed and it passed through all stages without a standing vote. To my knowledge, no opposition private members’ bill has ever passed through the House of Commons in this manner” To me, this is the far more interesting part of the story over whether some sports bill does or does not become law. Maybe even more interesting than the unelected Senate overturning a decision of elected MPs. Which with this House can be viewed (by me) as a possible good thing.

    • I’m trying to sort this out. What we know from the official record is that the bill was passed at third reading by a unanimous voice vote. (So basically the Speaker asked if the House agreed that the bill be read a third time and passed and whoever was in the House at the time said yea. No one said nay and a recorded vote wasn’t required because the requisite five MPs didn’t stand up to request one.) Presumably there was some kind of discussion between the parties to agree that this would happen this way and that’s what I’m hoping someone will be able to explain to me.

  2. It’s fascinating that we worry to this degree about protecting the integrity of sports by maintaing a strict separation between players and managers to the point where we are addressing even the potential for their involvement in fixing games, but no one seems interested in protecting the integrity of the stock market.

    CEO’s and Directors of publicly traded companies are in a position to directly affect results of their companies but are also openly involved in speculation on those results. They benefit directly from the speculation on their own peformance, and the only regulation of their involvement is that they must declare their bets.

    Seems to me more than a few “scandals” have occurred as a result. Have Mr. Chong and the Senators been calling for a clean up of the stock market?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *