British Columbia Lottery Corporation is looking forward to the legalization of single-event sports betting within the borders of Canada, as this major move is about to change the way Canadians perceive gambling. Recently the Crown corporation issued its own position on the subject, shedding more light on the future prospects of Bill C-218’s approval.
British Columbia has been working towards modernizing its online gaming offerings ever since March 2020 saw the temporary suspension of in-person gambling on a provincial scale. Brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling venues across the province have remained closed over the past year, which inevitably has had its impact on the gambling revenue support casino operators are able to give to the province.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation has aimed to modernize its online gaming platform with some wagering options, especially when it comes to big events and novelty bets. Now it unveiled its position on the legalization of single-event sports betting with a letter to the Standing Committee of Justice and Human Rights. Stewart Groumoutis, Director of eGaming Operations, and Dr. Jamie Wiebe, Director of Player Health, addressed the subject.
The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act is considered to be the revolution Canada’s wagering field has been needing for the past decade. The Crown corporation highlighted that this act would make it possible for players to enjoy the freedom of placing bets and benefitting from protection and fair conditions at all times. The regulation Bill C-218 could bring to the table if it receives the nod of officials, would encourage more patrons to place bets in a legal manner, instead of using illegal sportsbooks.
In the letter, the Crown corporation makes it clear that players are already doing so in Washington State casinos or on unregulated off-shore websites, eventually retaining none of the money within the Canadian borders. Some CA$250 million was lost over the course of five years to such grey-market gambling hotspots.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation highlighted the benefits of its PlayNow.com platform, which could launch single-event sports betting right away and as soon as it is legalized. Moreover, the Crown corporation also highlighted single-event sports betting’s place within the context of brick-and-mortar casino locations and gambling venues. Sportsbooks could be introduced there following a collaboration with regulators and government partners.
British Columbia’s bars and restaurants could also benefit from enhanced sports-betting offerings. Up to CA$175 million could be generated within the province only after the launch of single-event sports betting, much-needed revenue support. In the meantime, official legalization of the bill seems inevitable now, with the approval of the entire gaming industry. Ontario Racing has been the latest gaming leader to join the support wave.
Woodbine Entertainment, Racetracks of Canada, Quebec Jockey Club, and the Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario also expressed gratitude towards the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for the opportunity that such legalization would provide for the sector and the whole gambling industry.
Source: “BCLC presents to House of Commons Justice Committee on Bill C-218“, BCLC.com, March 9, 2021