OTTAWA — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said a change to sports betting rules would benefit the gaming industry, but stopped short of shaming the Senate for taking so long to approve the legislation.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa had urged the Senate on Wednesday to approve an amendment to the Criminal Code to allow single-game wagers, which was passed unanimously by the House of Commons nearly three years ago but has yet to become law.
“I think that Minister Sousa is just saying that it’s there and it would be to the benefit of the gaming industry for it to go forward,” Wynne told reporters ahead of the Council of Federation meeting in Ottawa Thursday.
“He’s not making a moral judgment. He’s just saying that’s the reality we are confronting,” Wynne said.
The premier made the remarks at a news conference alongside federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who last week expressed a different opinion about the Senate delaying the passage of Bill C-290, arguing they were just doing their jobs by scrutinizing legislation that had passed without much study.
Trudeau noted Thursday that since he had removed all Liberal-appointed senators from his caucus, he has no control over how quickly or slowly they move.
“I don’t get to hurry them or push them,” said Trudeau.
“I am sure that they are taking the responsible amount of deliberations, but I did say that I encouraged legislators of all different types to address issues in a responsible and forthright manner,” Trudeau said.
Sports betting is already legal in Ontario, but only through Pro-Line, where people must place bets on at least three games at a time.