Sports Betting (Photo Credit: Reuters)
According to gaming stakeholders, single-game sports betting has all the chances to be available in Canada. It is on air since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau endorsed legislation bringing possibilities of legalizing iGaming and sports betting. Previously, sports betting hadn’t approved by Trudeau’s government.
While attending the Canada Leaders Panel at Betting on Sports in America, Paul Burns, the president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, asserted, “There is tremendous potential for sports betting to take off in Canada. There is tremendous demand from the public, and hopefully, next fall, we’ll be able to have everything in place.”
The CEO of theScore, john Levy also has proclaimed that if all things are in place at the government level, there’s a possibility that legal sports betting would arrive at Canadian land before the NFL season of 2021. Currently, the C-13 bill is in the House of Parliament. Justice Minister David Lamenti introduced it on November 26th. Lamenti took over Kevin Waugh’s C-218, which was introduced in February. Both of these bills are quite similar. However, Waugh proclaims, this government bill is here for protecting horse racing. Horse racing has been excluded from Waugh’s bill because it is tougher to pass if the bill is loaded down, Waugh says. If all these situations fall in favor of betting on sports, gamblers will wager in sports betting expediently.
Provinces Would Gain the Ability of Legalizing Sports Betting
The latest bill would be sufficient to change the current criminal code, as single-event betting will be legalized at the federal level. In turn, provinces would have the power to or not proffer sports betting opportunities. The ability to choose digital modes, brick and mortar establishments would also be given to provinces. Focusing on the US market, Ontario is the most significant province, as it separates Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Michigan, and Minnesota. Sportsbetting is already legalized in Michigan and Pennsylvania, whereas introducing it to bettors is still a discussion in Ohio and New York.
The enticing fact is, wagering in offshore sportsbooks and offshore online casino is not illegal in Canada. Hence, contradictory to the US, where stakeholders are fighting for a dual goal of eliminating the black market, Canadian sports betting objective is proffering in-house opportunities to bettors.
According to Waugh, when introducing this bill was at the initial stage, NBA, NHL, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, and Canadian Football League have supported a legal form of sports betting in Canada. But, back in 2018, since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in the United States, Canada is experiencing a competitive disadvantage. The main reason behind this disadvantage is 48 states from south of the border either have legitimated wagering on single-event or have constructed bills while the state legislature is looking for doing so.
Lawmakers from Ontario are Ready for Proceeding
If the Canadian Parliament passes the bill, it will be easier for Ontario lawmakers to diminish the province’s lottery’s monopoly on gaming. In this regard, iGamingBusiness.com has asserted that Ontario lawmakers have promised in their 2020 budget that they would enhance iGaming based on permitting commercial operators along with lottery services. And, sports betting would be adjoined to the iGaming family.
As soon as they gain permission for it, Ontario regulators want to take action. The regulatory body for Ontario would be the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). COO Dave Phillips also said that Ontario has been promoting single-game sports betting for at least a decade. And, AGCO would be able to take the position in time, as it has been preparing to validate single-game sports wagering.
Galore of opportunities are About to open Up for Canadian-based Gaming Companies
Investors expect more opportunities for expansion in a sector that has already gone through immense growth in the last few years. Canada based companies like Bell Media, theScore, and Rogers corporation are expected to benefit from gaming in Canada.
According to theScore’s Levy, “Canada is theScore’s home turf, and we are eager to bring our award-winning sportsbook, theScore Bet, to our highly engaged fans across Ontario, a huge market with a population larger than all but four US states.”
Levy further proclaims, “we’re also encouraged by the providence’s commitment to continue to work with the federal government in their effort to legalize single-event sports wagering in Canada, where legislation to effect this change was debated in the House of Commons earlier this week.”
If the size of the market comes into consideration, Canada is an appealing destination for operators. Around 35 million people live in Canada, and close to half of them are nestled in Ontario. Hence, Sportivo says, this expansion can bring $5.4 billion for digital sports betting in this mature market.