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Jerome García April 12, 2021 3 min read
Will Canada Legalize Its Lucrative Sports Wagering Market Soon?
Currently limited to parlay-style games, the Canadian sports betting market holds significant potential. The market is estimated at $14 billion annually by the Canadian Gaming Association and if legalized, it may bring significant tax revenue for the country.
Sports Betting Popularity Continues to Grow in North America
Although the popularity of sports betting is continuously growing, the activity is yet to be legalized in many countries across the globe. Looking at the United States, so far 20 states have legalized the activity. On the other hand, 6 states have recently passed a bill, while two dozen more have introduced a bill that is yet to be voted.
Another market that holds significant potential to grow, similarly to the US market, is the one in neighboring Canada. However, in Canada, sports betting is currently limited to parlay-style games. Although the activity is popular and many Canadians participate, very few are aware that they are using unregulated, and offshore operators. In other words, those operators conduct their business illegally in Canada.
Canada’s Sports Betting Market Holds Significant Potential
One way to open the regulated market in Canada is via Bill C-218. If the bill receives a green light, Ottawa would legalize sports wagering. Consequently, this is likely to attract many major sportsbooks such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Points Bet, theScore, and more. Furthermore, such a move may also attract Torstar Corporation, which is the owner of Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator. The company announced in March that it plans to launch an online casino in the regulated gaming market in Ontario.
Last year in November, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) revealed that Canadians are betting an estimate of $14 billion per year through the black market and offshore operators. This proves that the Canadian market is lucrative. Furthermore, if the activity is legalized and regulated, this would undoubtedly bring millions in tax revenue.
The Legalization of Sports Wagering to Bring Benefits
Last week, CGA’s president and CEO, Paul Burns, spoke to the Star and said that sports gambling in Canada existed for decades. However, according to him, now, the country is trying to change the way it is done. Burns acknowledged that major industry players have asked provincial governments to regulate the activity. In exchange, those sportsbooks have shown readiness to pay their taxes.
Besides bringing tax revenue, sports betting legalization in Canada may also be beneficial for the players. Currently, there is nothing that can protect the sports fans, who are placing wagers with illegal operators. However, this may change if Canada’s legislature regulates the activity.