Crowd welcomes individual sports betting and calls for action in the province

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Liberals cannot acknowledge that single-event sports betting is finally becoming law in Canada, says Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West.

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Crowds stood near a row of doors in Caesars Windsor on Friday to greet Bill C-218 – a private member’s bill officially legalizing Canadian gambling at a single sporting event.

“It was interesting to see the Liberals go on a victory lap by just putting one bill – and then abandoning it,” Masse, a new Democrat, told the media.

“Thank goodness I was interested in (Tory MP) Kevin Waugh. Thank goodness we did the hard work to work out the legislation and keep it (alive). “

Masse pointed to the decades-long journey of legislation he attributes to the original bill and endorsement of NDP member Joe Comartin, former Windsor-Tecumseh MP.

Masse noted that single event sports betting could have become law sooner had it not been for critical cases of lack of support from federal liberals – including the prime minister.

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An entrance to the Caesars Windsor <a class=Casino and Hotel in Windsor, Ontario. Photographed on August 27, 2021.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/caesars-windsor-02.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/caesars-windsor-02.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/windsorstar/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/caesars-windsor-02.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
An entrance to the Caesars Windsor Casino and Hotel in Windsor, Ontario. Photographed on August 27, 2021. Photo by Dalson Chen /Windsor star

“It is the typical power forces in Ottawa that have tried to basically put this down,” said Masse. “But at the end of the day, people won… that’s the real story. We won despite Ottawa. “

As a result of the new law, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has “Proline +” on Friday, an online platform for single bets on league sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey and soccer, as well as tennis, golf, boxing and MMA.

But provincial regulations have yet to be established so that casinos like Caesars Windsor can enforce the law and offer single bets on their premises.

Dana Dunphy, Chairwoman of Workers for Caesars Windsor, represented by Unifor Local 444, speaks at an entrance to Caesars Windsor on August 27, 2021.
Dana Dunphy, Chairwoman of Workers for Caesars Windsor, represented by Unifor Local 444, speaks at an entrance to Caesars Windsor on August 27, 2021. Photo by Dalson Chen /Windsor star

Behind the crowd on Friday gathered members of Unifor Local 444, which represents an estimated 2,200 workers at Caesars Windsor.

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Dana Dunphy, chairwoman of Caesars Windsor Workers, represented by Unifor Local 444, commended Masse for standing up for them and their interests over the many years the issue was debated.

“(Bill C-218) means more potential jobs here in Windsor and more options for our customers,” she said. “This will allow us to be competitive in this tough market – especially as a border town with three resort casinos across the river.”

“Our members need this to be ready for action now. We can not wait anymore. Michigan already offers sports betting for individual events. “

Labor leader Ken Lewenza Sr. speaks at an entrance to Caesars Windsor while Windsor West MP Brian Masse (right) looks on.  Photographed on August 27, 2021.
Labor leader Ken Lewenza Sr. speaks at an entrance to Caesars Windsor while Windsor West MP Brian Masse (right) looks on. Photographed on August 27, 2021. Photo by Dalson Chen /Windsor star

Union leader Ken Lewenza Sr. was also there on Friday to praise crowd. The former national president of the CAW said he remembered massively debating the issue more than 10 years ago.

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“The hard work of Brian Masse, the hard work of the New Democrats … has now come to life,” Lewenza said. “We are about jobs.”

Lewenza was opposed to the approval of the liberal federal government for the draft law.

“The Liberals cannot recognize that,” said Lewenza. “The reality is that years ago they had many opportunities to pass this law – and they refused to do so.”

  1. Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse will stand in front of Caesars Windsor on August 21, 2020 to discuss the implications of the prorogation for Parliament on Windsor.

    Single event sports betting approved by the House of Commons

  2. Legends at Caesars Windsor, seen in this file photo, may offer single sport betting in the near future.

    Single-event sports betting receive the go-ahead from the Senate

  3. Windsor West NDP candidate Brian Masse speaks to the media about the future of individual sport betting in Canada during a press conference near Caesars Windsor in October 2015.

    Single game sports betting bill to be promulgated, provincial regulations are waiting

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky criticized Ontario’s Tory government for “keeping quiet” on the issue.

“The best Premier Doug Ford has come up with so far is to say it could happen in December. That the province is considering making the regulatory changes in December. And that’s just not good enough, ”said Gretzky.

Masse said it was time Canada had the opportunity to “grow up on responsible gaming”.

Legalizing single-event sports betting frees the industry from “organized crime and offshore bookmaker accounts,” Masse said, while creating new jobs in places like Caesars Windsor.

But these new jobs won’t appear until the province has regulations for such betting. “There is more to be done,” said Masse.

An exterior view of the Caesars Windsor Casino and Hotel in Windsor, Ontario.  Photographed on August 27, 2021.
An exterior view of the Caesars Windsor Casino and Hotel in Windsor, Ontario. Photographed on August 27, 2021. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor star

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