Canada: Sports Betting Bill C-218 Moves Forward

Single-event sports betting could soon become legal in Canada, after the passing of Bill C-218 in the House of Commons yesterday.

JUST Committee to Discuss the Bill

Canada is closer to legalizing sports betting on single events, as Bill C-218 passed in second reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday. The legislation has been referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST).

Passing with 303 “Yeas” and 15 “Nays” yesterday, Bill C-218 nears the finish line and its supporters are calling for one last push to make sure it does. Among the bill’s proponents is the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which has called for the Members of the Parliament to collaborate on the legalization of single-event sports wagering “for the benefit of our players and provinces”, eGaming Director Stewart Groumoutis declared.

Canadian players “want single-event sports betting”, and the BCLC is ready to provide sports wagering offerings in a “safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of BC,” Groumoutis said.

Licensed Sportsbooks in the Future

Although Canada allows parlay wagering on sports games, the country’s Criminal Code originally prohibited all types of wagering in the nation. Canadian bettors currently have to travel to gaming properties on the other side of the border, in Washington State for example, or bet with offshore and unregulated betting platforms.

BCLC’s gaming platform PlayNow.com, the only website of the kind authorized in BC, could quickly provide sports betting offerings, the Commission said. The BCLC said that down the line, there could be licensed sportsbooks introduced and supported by regulators, casinos, and gaming partners.

According to the organization, single-event sports wagering could generate between CA$125 million to CA$175 million in revenue through remote and brick-and-mortar operations. theScore said the Canadian online gambling market could yield a gross revenue of US$3.8 billion to US$5.4 billion based on historical data analysis of the markets across the globe.

John Levy, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Score Media and Gaming noted that “[Wednesday’s] development in the House of Commons, focusing on the legalization of single-event sports betting in Canada, is a significant step forward in the process to amend an outdated law.”

He mentioned the “much-needed modernized sports betting framework” across all of the nation’s jurisdictions and territories to “include important consumer protections and the ability to generate new revenue streams for provincial and territorial governments.”

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