Masse gets help from Conservatives on single-event sports betting

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP candidate, Cheryl Hardcastle, left, Windsor West NDP Brian Masse and Essex NDP Tracey Ramsey, right, speak in favour of single-game sports betting, October 9, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Windsor West MP Brian Masse hopes the third time is the charm for a bill first introduced by former Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin.

A bill that would legalize single-event sports betting and create hundreds of new jobs at casinos like Caesars Windsor while taking billions of dollars out of the hands of organized crime was introduced again in Parliament Tuesday morning.

This time, Masse is not the one introducing it. He recruited some help from Conservative MP Kevin Waugh.

“I stood mine down so that Kevin could go forward, and he’s up number seven in the order paper, which means there will be debate and a vote on this relatively soon,” said Masse.

Despite having all-party support, the bill has died twice. Once, in the Senate. However, Masse said the prime minister could make the change in the Criminal Code immediately if he wanted to.

“The prime minister could do this tomorrow with an order in council,” said Masse. “I don’t understand it.

“At any point in time, the Liberals could intervene and could make this either part of the budget or an order in council,” he continued. “Every day wasted is a missed opportunity — with one line in the Criminal Code, it shouldn’t be this complicated.”

He said it could come to a vote in the House of Commons within weeks before going to Committee. After that, it will return for a second vote.