While efforts have been strong to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, delay after delay is causing frustration in the government.
This is a trend already underway in the U.S. where restrictions are being loosened in various states.
Canada is a bit behind as gamblers are only allowed to parlay, or place multiple bets on a game and pick the winner for each context. The governments of the provinces are missing out on huge revenues as sports betters have reportedly forked over up to $500 million per year.
Of this whopping figure, about $14 billion is doled out through the black market by means of bookies or off-shore online outlets.
The Canadian Gaming Association explains this is due to the ability to bet on just a single game. If legislation is adopted, such betting would be allowed in the provinces and territories of the country either in a land-based venue or online.
David Lametti, Minister of the Department of Justice has elucidated the details about amendments to existing bills. It is all about creating a safe and regulated environment for Canadians who wish to participate in single event sport betting.
This bill would also protect Canadians by taking profits out of the hands of organized crime and will help the economy by supporting jobs.
“These changes also create the opportunity to work with Indigenous
people to strengthen their participation in the gaming industry.”
In the U.S., a landmark decision by the 2018 Supreme Court lifted federal limits on sports betting. It had previously only been allowed in Nevada. Now others could join single-game gambling at casinos, racetracks, and online. New Jersey, New York and Michigan were quick to jump on the bandwagon.
The decision created a proliferation of partnerships between sports media companies and gambling ventures, like ESPN with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, Fox Sports and The Stars Group. Canada hopes to follow suit.