You can bet on it: single-game sports wagering in Canada is going to become a reality. It is up to the Canadian Parliament now to make it law.
As a bill in favor has been before Parliament several times, betters will have to assess the new odds. Before, a pandemic got in the way.
Will it come to pass?
New legislation would change that section of the Canadian Criminal Code dealing with gambling. The rules prohibiting certain types would be gone forever. According to the wording, it was wagering on “any race or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”
The only difference in the new bill is that it leaves horse betting on the list of prohibited activities for the lotteries. It is already regulated under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Who is on board?
According to the government‘s Minister of Justice, David Lametti, this bill has a new twist.
“The goal of the legislation is simple: it is to bring a common practice out of
the shadows and into the open. To make it legal, regulated and safe.”
The question now is whether the Liberal Party can push it through, given its minority position. And what will the Conservative Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the separatist Bloc Québecois do?
It is certainly a priority for the Liberals. After all they introduced the bill C-13 bill themselves.
Many stakeholders are vocal about the subject such as Canadian sports media and sports betting company TheScore. Its founder and CEO John Levy has much to say about the bill.
“Canadians deserve a modernized and regulated sports betting market and we commend the federal government for their efforts to legalize single-event wagering.”
He adds that there is now clear cross-party support and strong momentum to amend the outdated federal laws and enable the legal sports betting market to flourish.
As the leading mobile sports brand in Canada, theScore Bet wants to offer fans the best-in-class sports betting experience.
At stake are jobs in the sector and competition from U.S. states across the border of Ontario. Caesars Casino Windsor for example stands to lose a huge amount of business to the three commercial casinos in Detroit.
Liberal, Irek Kusmierczyk has been very clear about the issues. From the Liberals’ point of view, sports betting is about the economy, and specifically about cross-border rivals.
“This is about protecting the 25,00 jobs at Caesars Windsor. It’s also about giving the tourism sector a much needed boost… pounded and pummeled during COVID-19.”
Supporters hope it will not be a long road from legalization. Kusmierczyk said despite widespread support, it will typically take about three months to work its way through the legislature.
Because it doesn’t contain any specifics, it’s C-13 is only the first step on the road. Five provincial lottery corporations will need to decide their role: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the northern territories, along with Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland/Labrador.
No doubt Ontario will lead the way since its casinos are providing the impetus for the bill.
In the end, casinos and related venues will be drawing from the same pool of white label platform providers used by other lotteries in the US and around the world such as Scientific Games, Kambi, SBTech, and IGT.
Private sector brands like William Hill, DraftKings and Bet365 probably won’t be given licenses to operate legally in the market, at least for mobile betting. Bet365 has already serve Canadians in the unregulated gray market.
Retail sportsbooks will fare the best. Caesars Windsor will likely open own Caesars Sportsbook. However, not every Canadian casino will have the means and associations to engage in sports wagering.
As a result, new entities can step into the retail betting market.
Bill C-13 Represents Canada’s Best And Latest Chance For Sports Betting (onlinepokerreport.com)