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Erik Gibbs March 24, 2021 3 min read
TheScore’s CEO Discusses Sports Gambling with Canada’s House of Commons
Canada is working on legislation that would allow the country’s sports gamblers to place single-event bets. Currently, only parlay wagers are allowed because of how gambling laws are written, but a bill to expand sports gambling options, C-218, has been making its way through the House of Commons. As it does, the chairman and CEO of Score Media and Gaming, John Levy, is appealing to lawmakers to see the benefits of gambling expansion.
Reworking Canada’s Criminal Code
Before single-event sports wagers can be made in Canada, the country’s criminal code needs to be rewritten. Language in the code prevents many forms of gambling, but Bill C-218 addresses this and hopes to find a quick resolution. Speaking before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which is now reviewing the bill, Levy highlighted the myriad of benefits that can come from expanded sports gambling options. He cited the “thousands of jobs” and additional revenue for governments and sports teams that the industry has provided in the U.S. since states began introducing their own sports gambling legislation in 2018.
Levy, who also founded Score Media, emphasized to lawmakers the company’s proven track record of operating in the sports gambling space, including through the introduction of theScore Bet, a mobile sportsbook that is now found in several states in the U.S. He also stressed the importance of consumer protection through C-218, formally known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. By introducing a legal single-event sports gambling option, Canada will be in a better position to eliminate unregulated and illegal sportsbooks that are known to operate around the country.
Sports Gambling Expansion Could Arrive In Canada Soon
Levy suggested to the committee that the House of Commons should approve C-218 “as quickly as possible.” He asserted, “Time is of the essence with the passing of this bill. These gaming revenues represent a significant boost to a recovering economy, incenting job creation and regional economic development in many communities that will see direct and immediate benefits.” So far, legislative support for the bill has been overwhelming and, when put to a vote by the House of Commons last month, 303 Members of Parliament approved, while only 15 rejected the idea.
Tomorrow, the bill is scheduled to appear for its third, and possibly last, reading by lawmakers. If it is approved, Canada’s Governor-General for Royal Assent would still need to sign off on the legislation for it to become law. Previous attempts to introduce single-event sports gambling in the country have failed; however, the sentiment has changed substantially. Given the global focus placed on sports gambling, and the previous approvals C-218 has received, this could be the year Canada moves forward with a regulated sports gambling industry.