Bill Legalizing Single-Game Sports Betting Passed in Canada

Quintin van Wyk by Quintin van Wyk Published: July 1, 2021 Reading time: 2min
Bill Legalizing Single-Game Sports Betting Passed

Canadian sports bettors across the country will soon be able to place bets on single-game sports like ice hockey and football because the Senate has passed the C-218 Bill.

The Senate of Canada have recently passed a bill that allows each of the 10 provinces to approve single-game sports betting on a wide selection of popular sports, including football and ice hockey. Prior to the 57-20 vote on 22 June 2021, Canadian sports betting enthusiasts were only allowed make multi-leg parlays while betting on sports.

Once the final approval has been made by Royal Assent, third-party bookmakers won't be able to work with partners on a provincial level as stated by the Canadian Gaming Association. Every jurisdiction in Canada will be required to license, approve, and regulate each individual sports betting site. However, officials are targeting a lunch for single-game sports wagers in 2021. This will allow everyone to bet on the most popular sports in Canada without having to use the parlay betting system.

Details of Sports Betting in Canada

It's far too early to predict which online sports betting sites will expand their business in Canada and in which of the 10 provinces it will occur. However, sportsbook leaders in the United States, including FanDuel and DraftKings, have already shown interest in the market that consists of nearly 38 million people.

In addition, PointsBet have recently hired Nic Sulsky, the former Monkey Knife fight President, to lead their expansion in Canada, while Caesars also owns and operates the Caesars Windsor resort situated in Ontario. This is a stone throw away from the Michigan border. TheScore, a Toronto-based company, has supported the single-game betting legislation and is expected to establish its online sportsbook in Toronto later this year.

John Levy, the CEO of TheScore, has recently stated that Canadians will finally be able to reap the rewards that will result from a regulated and comprehensive sports betting framework that will create jobs, protects players, and generate additional tax revenues. Once the legislation is passed, Canada can finally adopt legal sports betting and transform itself into a leader in the rapidly growing industry.

More than 20 organizations have supported the private member's bill, including the MLB, NBA, NHL, the Canadian Premier League, and the Canadian Football League. Leaders on behalf of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alberta, and Ontario have also supported the measure. Kevin Waugh and other supporters realized that sports betting in Canada is a $14.5 billion industry that is conducted on unregulated bookmakers and offshore betting sites. The CGA expects that only $500 million is wagered on legal sites in Canada.

At the moment, there is no protection for players and no problem-gambling programs in place. There is also no guidelines that online sports betting sites have to follow. This also means that Canadians are not feeling the economic benefits at the moment.

Stakeholders are Looking Forward to the Future

Even though the Bill was passed by the Senate with a 57-20 vote and an even bigger lopsided majority at the House of Commons, stakeholders are still concerned that the legislation might not be approved before Parliament dissolves for their summer break.

After multiple efforts over the past few years, Waugh provided the latest version of the C-218 bill in September 2020 and it underwent months of discussions and negotiations before it was finally passed in April by the House of Commons. Although it only amends a single line of the federal code, the back-and-forth meant that the bill was still in danger heading into the vote on 22 June 2021.

Thankfully, bettors in Canada have managed to clear the biggest hurdle before accessing regulated, legal single-game sports betting in the country. If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest news and reviews in the Canadian gambling industry, make sure to bookmark our website.

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