Big things appear to be coming for Canada sports betting in the near future. On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Bill C-218 passed through the Canadian House of Commons, which may lead to the legalization of single-game wagering in the country. This passed by a 303-15 vote earlier this week.
Yeas: 303 ✅
Nays: 15❌ pic.twitter.com/Mq1z9CwE01
— In the Chamber (@HoCChamber) February 17, 2021
Currently, only multiple-outcome parlay bets are allowed to be wagered on legally, so this would allow sports bettors to legally place wagers on a single game if they desire in a legal and safe manner.
The bill started in early 2020 through Kevin Waugh and moved quickly to being picked up as government legislation later that year. The bill will likely see a final round of hearings through the Justice Committee.
Why Legalizing Sports Betting Matters
Tons of money is already being bet on sports from Canadians, though not always legally. Sports bettors can very well continue wagering illegally and get away without consequence in most cases, so why does this matter? It matters because legalization and regulation of the industry will make the sports betting industry safer for the sports bettors of Canada, and it will help the country add a new revenue stream in an increasing industry.
If this all passes through, Canadians would be able to place a bet on a single game legally. At this point, the only options to do so would include betting through an offshore betting site or through a bookie. Both are illegal in Canada and since they are unregulated in an activity in increasingly high demand, they can be dangerous to the bettors.
There are some offshore sites that are safer and have a better reputation than others, but there are no consequences for a place like that to simply not pay out winning bets. Bettors need to make an additional gamble on whether winnings will be paid out and how long it will take for that to happen. Legalization of sports wagering eliminates that as sportsbook operators would receive a substantial penalty legally and incredibly bad public relations for their company moving forward. That would be a major misstep for an organization competing for new customers in a booming industry.
Even though going through unregulated, offshore sports betting can be dangerous, there is a huge market for sports wagering that cannot be stopped. Therefore, most of the money being bet on sports for Canadians is going elsewhere. Legalizing single-game wagers will help keep the majority of betting money inside the country. We’ve seen that people want to bet on sports even if it’s illegal so since it’s already happening, keeping that money in Canada will produce a significant revenue stream that hadn’t been there prior.
Follow United States Success
Sports betting is advancing significantly across the United States, and Canada would be wise to do their homework on what is working as far as regulating and legalizing single-game wagers within its borders. The United States repealed its federal ban on sports betting, known as Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), in 2018, and a number of states have already legalized or are in the process of introducing sports betting to their state.
Just like Canadians do, United States sports fans enjoy betting on games or events. For a long time, the United States had very select places where betting was allowed but otherwise, most used offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies. Now that states are allowed to make their own decisions on the matter, money is flooding in with not much end in sight. Most importantly, a lot of the money is staying in the United States.
From June 2018 through Feb. 17, 2021, roughly $39,936,559,105 has been bet on sports in the United States according to Legal Sports Report. In addition, the taxes/jurisdiction revenue is at $399,401,367 across the country. Sports betting is a clear money maker for those who legalize it, and we’ll see where Canada goes with it in the near future.