Canada legalizes single-game sports betting
The online gambling industry has been on the rise in recent years, growing into a billion-dollar industry. Despite how much revenue the industry generates, online gambling has still been faced with legalization troubles but now, several countries are leading the way in making the necessary changes.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court in the United States revoked the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASA), leading to a sudden boost in the legalized sports betting market, according to reports.
Now, the neighbouring country, Canada, is set to follow in their tracks by equally legalizing sports betting.
The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, also known as Bill C-218, has been approved by the Canadian Senate after getting a 57-20 vote of approval and this means all single-game sports betting would now become legal, except for horse racing. While the bill awaits approval from the Royal Assent to finally become law, each province and territory would still have the power to decide whether or no they want to offer sports betting.
The move was done in a bid to attract Canadian punters who have had to rely on U.S. casinos, illegal bookmakers and offshore sites to place their bets back into the country.
“This is a major milestone and achievement for the Canadian gaming industry. The CGA has been working to legalize single-event sports betting for more than 10 years and Bill C-218 benefited from a groundswell of broad stakeholder support from across Canada,” said Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association in a press release.
“The need for regulation, oversight, player protection, and the creation of economic benefits for Canada was understood by everyone involved in the legislative process, which is why the Bill was successfully passed,” he continued.
In Canada, sports betting has always been legal for several years in provinces through the lottery, but it only involved parlay wagers. With a population of nearly 38 million people—a little less than the population of California, U.S.—this news provides a huge opportunity for online sports betting operators to create a new marketplace that differs from that of the U.S.
News of the new legislation has been received heartily by the Nation Hockey League, Canadian Football League and other professional sports teams in the country. Even the tight-knitted equestrian community has shown their support for the new law as they remain wary of foreign casinos and gambling sites encroaching into their territory.
Sponsor of the bill in the upper house, conservative Sen. David Wells, earlier predicted that legalizing the Las Vegas-styled betting on single games in the country would drastically affect the multibillion-dollar offshore gambling black market and redirect all of that massive revenue into provincial governments purse.
“Canadians are placing billions of dollars worth of bets annually through these (offshore) sites, that go entirely unregulated in Canada,” Wells said during a final debate at the Senate.
For years, provincial governments, which are responsible for regulating gambling in Canada, have been yearning for the legalization of single-event betting in the country, Wells added. These provinces would benefit from the billions of dollars in revenue that can now be channel towards the development of other areas such as gambling addiction research, improved health care and education.