Bill C-218 received endorsement after 303 MPs voted in favor of it. This brings Canada on the brink of legalizing single-game sports betting. This comes after stakeholders in the industry asked the Canadian Government to double its efforts.
After 303 MPs voted in favor of Bill C-218, Canada is close to legalizing betting on single sporting events. This was the second hearing of the bill and only 15 members voted against it. The next step will now see the bill head to the House of Justice Committee. Here, members can suggest amendments and after that, it will be referred to the Senate before it becomes law.
If the bill passes as it is, it will see Canada end the prohibition of betting on single sports that has been on for the last decade. Once legal, territories and provinces will be tasked with licensing and regulating betting operators.
As it stands, single-game sports in the jurisdiction is illegal going by Section 207(4)(b) in the Criminal Code. The law only allows players to place bets on the outcome of multiple sporting events, also known as a parlay.
However, according to Canadian Gaming Association, the parlay system, as it is, has opened opportunities for black market gambling. Data from the association shows that Canadian bettors spend at least $10 billion annually on illegal sportsbooks. That’s not all! At least $4 billion circulates in offshore gambling sites, making the legalization of single sports betting quite lucrative. As a bonus, there will be reduced criminal activity.
Similar to the US situation when states joined in the legal sports betting, Canada’s passing of the bill will benefit various operators. Score Media is one such company and this is particularly of interest given it holds a massive market share in the country. theScore mobile betting app is part of the company’s outlets and parliament’s passage of the bill couldn't have come at a better time. This is despite missing out on an opportunity presented by the NFL Super Bowl.
Levy emphasizes the positive impact legalization of single-event sports betting will have on the territorial and provincial governments. One of the positives is the introduction of up-to-date betting frameworks that will offer customer protection not to mention creating new revenue sources.
The same sentiments were shared by Luckbox CEO, Quentin Martin. According to him, the outcome of amending the outdated law will be safer wagering for millions of esports and sports punters in Canada. In his explanation, Quentin said that legalizing and regulating the market will be the best way of keeping punters safe while offering the best gambling experience possible.
According to theScore, the market potential offered by Canada’s online gaming market stands at US$3.8 billion to US$ 5.4 billion. This is based on data deduced from legal online gaming in the U.S. markets and across the world.