Canada’s decision to regulate single-event sports betting has opened the sluicegates of progress in earnest, and with it, the first results are already looking promising. In the first two months of operation, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) registered over $25 million worth of sports wagers, placed through the flagship website, PlayNow.com. BCLC introduced PlayNow.com as the sole entry-point for regulated gambling in the province back at the end of August and has been able to reap solid benefits since.
BCLC Puts Regulated Gambling in Focus
BCLC interim president and CEO Lynda Cavanaugh have praised the results, describing the turnover as a significant milestone for BCLC and the high entertainment and engagement value offered by single-event sports betting. She offered further comment on the societal and provincial benefits coming from regulated gambling:
“It’s important for players to know that playing with BCLC supports the success of British Columbia, as PlayNow.com is the only legal gambling website from which revenue supports important provincial initiatives, including health care and education.”
Prior to Canada agreeing to single-event sports betting, the country was faced with a slew of offshore betting sites which have been targeting citizens and offering alternative markets that were missing at home. The tide is shifting though.
Ditching Offshore Sports Gambling in Favor of Regulated Options
A similar experiment with regulated gambling in the United States quickly diminished the $150 billion offshore gambling industry. Since 2018, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates that consumers are becoming aware of regulated alternatives and actively choosing those over offshore.
In Canada, the antagonism towards offshore sportsbooks has been milder, and such website’s offer – a little safer to locals. However, the country now has valid alternatives closer to home. BCLC estimates that the NFL remains the most popular sport by far. NFL wagers have increased by 97% in the first seven weeks of the season this year.
BCLC named the NFL Week 4 game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots as the highest volume betting game so far. Yet, the NFL is not the only sports league to benefit from the new regulatory framework.
According to the corporation, the National Hockey League (NHL) has seen a 71% increase of the bets placed during the first 19 days of the season compared with the same period a year before.