Gambling in Canada has transverse laws with varying regulations based on provincial amendments for both land-based casinos and online establishments, which is quite liberal in general. Starting from the popularity of penny slots free online, there is the availability of lottery, poker, table and card games and also Sports Betting. But when it comes to single-game sports betting, it is as of now, banned in Canada.
A couple of months back, in February 2020, the MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood, Kevin Waugh, along with Windsor-West MP Brian Masse, co-sponsored the proposal of the private member’s Bill C-218 – as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, to amend the Criminal Code imposed on single-sports betting and legalise it like any other normal gambling medium. It raised a hot debate in the House of Commons as soon after the introduction of the new Bill, the Canadian Gaming Association expressed its full support through a press release, and now, the bill reportedly has the backing of the commissioners from Canada’s 5 powerful Sports Leagues, including the National Hockey League, Canadian Football League and Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and National Basketball Association, who all have conglomerated with the CGA to empower this new legislation, that would legally allow individuals to place wagers on single sporting events.
The fact that Sports Gambling is confined to parlay betting in Canada, gamblers would have to choose winners from several games and gaming events to get a real cash win.
With the legalisation of Sports Betting in the US and bordering states of Canada, the MPs are once again moved to try to lift the restrictions of single sports betting within Canada as well.
This is not the first time such a Bill has been proposed. Brain Masse did something similar back in 2016, that did not get approval. This time around the MPs joined forces to address a fresh appeal to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau along with the Justice Minister David Lametti, emphasising the economic opportunities and benefits that this legalisation could bring for several Canadians, especially amid the adverse effects of the COVID-19 oriented crises.
According to Waugh, Canada’s iGaming industry which is not a small one, and amounts up to a $14 Billion turnover, could open new avenues for these industries to have increased revenue against the dwindling resources left off by a distressful year, and offer some relief for the people who all are associated with the industry.
Illegal Bookmaking operations within the Canadian borders reportedly makes about $10 billion annually, which basically falls under organized crime. Moreover, offshore online sports betting sites generate over $4 billion from Canadian players, which is also illegal.
As far as the legality of sports lottery goes, based on the various Canadian provinces a total of $500 million is wagered. Apparently people continue to go for illegal sports betting, despite the danger of landing in a criminal case.
Since there is no stopping this system, the legalising of it will only help in creating a safe and regulated environment for punters, and gain the lucrative economic plus points that come with it. As is mentioned by the CEO of Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, passing of the bill can empower the better reforms of “consumer protection while enabling economic benefits” that will equally work for gaming operators, punters as well the provincial Governments
Apart from the Canadian sports leagues, the Provincial Leaders in Ontario are also in favour of the legislation. As confirmed by Ontario’s Finance Minister, Rod Phillip’s spokeswoman, in a recent statement to Windsor Star, the Government of Ontario have reconfirmed the economical benefits of legalized single-event sports betting, and have urged the Federal Government to lift the outdated laws off of the Single Event Sports Wagering, as it could leverage the $110 million revenue garnered by the now illegal wagers, and use it for the welfare of the nation.
If the restrictions of single-event sports wagering are lifted, then the Ontario Government can legally collaborate with the Federal Government, and other prominent leagues in the sports betting industry, to make sure that the new changes are placed with full responsibility and reform a well-regulated environment, just like the rest of the gambling industry does, much like the penny slots free online.
Waugh had earlier expected to hear the conclusion by mid-June, but since that did not pan out in favour of the bill, the MPs and all the associated leagues would wait till September for a new hearing, as there is no sooner date for the reading of the legislation. If the bill had been passed in June, then punters would be able to bet on the rescheduled NHL, the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that are about to begin from 1 August 2020.