It’s time for single game sports betting to earn its legal stripes in Canada. It should happen this year if things go well in the House of Commons. It will be a significant change indeed.
What is now legal is a lottery style wager or parlay of several games needed to win, but no single-event betting. Demand, of course, is there. Imagine, the current annual amount spent legally is approximately $500 million a year.
But a lot goes missing – roughly $4 billion – in offshore sites by Canadians alone. Amazingly, it adds up to $14 billion in unregulated and illegal markets.
The U.S. paved the way for sprots gaming legalization in 2018, although it varies state to state. It has grown to twenty-five as of a few months ago. In Canada, it would be up to provincial governments.
According to Vancouver attorney, Ron Segev, “We can overstate how exciting the market opportunity is in Ontario alone.”
Meanwhile, criticism of the option is becoming less intense. In the words of David Lametti, Justice Minister,
“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.”
Not long ago, Canada’s Liberal government introduced legislation in Parliament after which the leaders of major North American sports leagues sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in support of the bill: NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, Don Garber (Major League Soccer), and Randy Ambrosie from the Canadian Football League.
The hope is that by the fall, Canadians will see expanded sports betting offerings. CGA President Paul Burns said, “It shouldn’t have taken this long. But the finish line is in sight.