Industry Reports

CGA Believes Potential Partnership with the NHL Could Prompt Single-Event Sports Betting Legalization

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has welcomed the recently announced partnership between the American global hospitality and entertainment company MGM Resorts International and the National Hockey League (NHL).

As Casino Reports already revealed, the newly-established partnership is expected to boost NHL fans’ engagement with other gambling products across the country.

Following the landmark deal, which turned MGM Resorts International in the first official sports betting and resort partner of the NHL, the CGA has invited the NHL to work in collaboration with the gambling industry in Canada in order for certain legislative changes to be brought in the local gambling sector. Canadians have been known as some of the keenest hockey fans, so a possible collaboration between the local gambling sector and the NHL could significantly boost their engagement with hockey.

For decades now, there has been legal parlay sports betting in Canada. Single-event wagering, however, is not permitted, so in order for it to be added to the gambling legislation of the country, an amendment annulling paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code is needed. A cooperation between the NHL and Canada’s gaming industry could end up with the legalization of single-event sports betting.

Only “Parlay Bets” Are Currently Legal in Canada

The ruling of the US Supreme Court, under which the federal ban on sports betting was finally lifted, prompted some speculations related to the sports betting market of Canada.

As mentioned above, for the time being, the only legal sports betting option currently available in Canada is the so-called “parlay bet” which allows local citizens to place wagers on a variety of sports events, or on a single sports event which is being held in the course of a few days. Single-game sports betting, however, is banned under the provisions of Canadian gambling laws.

Single-game wagering has had its supporters. Previously, Casino Reports has revealed that a number of Canadian cities situated close to the border, including Vancouver, Ottava, Calgary, Montreal, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Regina and Fredericton, have shared their willingness to add the single-event sports betting to their gambling offerings, especially considering the fact that the US counterparts of the aforementioned cities have backed the idea of sports betting expansion.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, shared that the local citizens already enjoy single-sports betting. As Mr. Burns revealed an amount of approximately CA$14 billion is being spent by local residents on single-event sports wagering through illegal channels every year.

According to him, in case that the NHL starts working in collaboration with the Canadian gaming industry and some changes are brought to the existing gambling landscape of the country, Canada would probably be able to realize the full economic potential of single-event sports betting and not only provide Canadian citizens with the experience available for people in the US but also see some fresh money contributions to states’ coffers.