Sports betting rules in Canada need changing, this is the moto behind the joint statement from the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), the NBA, MLS, NHL and MLB, as well as the Canadian Football League (CFL) posted last week.
Bill C-218, The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act
The professional sports leagues expressed their support for the proposed amendments to federal laws, C-218, The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which had its first reading in the House of Commons in February.
“The National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the Canadian Football League support an amendment to Canada’s federal laws that would authorize provinces to offer betting on single sporting events.”Joint Statement
The proposed bills sought to legalize wagering on a single sporting event, something forbidden under Canada’s Criminal Code. Under paragraph 207(4)(b) of the code, betting is only permitted on a combination of three events or more.
“Sports betting already happens illegally in Canada: creating a legal framework would shift consumers from illicit, unregulated markets to a legal and safe marketplace. Regulating single-game betting would allow for strong consumer protections as well as safeguards to further protect the integrity of sports.”Joint Statement
According to the bill’s main Sponsor, Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh, an estimated C$14 billion annually is the size of the illegal betting market in the country. C-218 is the third attempt to amend the single event betting rule, after the second bill Sponsor, MP Brian Masse, previously filed similar legislation twice.
Third Attempt Would be Successful
Despite the two unsuccessful attempts so far, MP Kevin Waugh expressed strong optimism that the third time would prove lucky and by passing the bill legislators would put a stop to money outflows that mainly go towards organized crime funding, instead of being kept for the local communities.
And this time around he has the support of the professional leagues and their public recognition that sports wagering provides another exciting way for sports fans to engage with their favourite clubs and players and to allow them to place single-event bets would only strengthen that connection.
The joint statement posted on the CGA’s website has been signed by Commissioners, Adam Silver, NBA, Gary Bettman, NHL, Rob Manfred, MLB, Don Garber, MLS, and Randy Ambrosie, CFL.