Canada has been looking for quite a while to further revolutionize its own gambling industry and finally catch up with the neighboring United States. And the introduction of single-event wagering might be just the thing to do. After extensive discussions on the matter, there will be another hearing this week in order to determine the fate of the proposed step forward for the industry.
Bill C-218 was introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh a while ago, and its passing by legal organs will bring changes to Criminal Code. These changes will finally allow Canadian gambling enthusiasts to legally place bets on single-sporting events in the country. Previously, single-game wagers were prohibited as a precaution of match-fixing, but now the country is in desperate need of funds.
This week’s hearing could prove to be a crucial point in the future of Bill C-218 and single-event wagers in Canada. There is still a long way to go for the bill to be officially enacted as a law, but if this turns to reality, provinces will have to regulate the change in their own way. Meaning that provincial governments will have to determine whether they will be offering the new-betting possibilities to their residents.
Prior to the upcoming hearing, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has already discussed the matter at the beginning of March. The March 25 meeting will be the third one for the bill, and if it passes the vote, the next legal instance that should approve it is the Governor-General for Royal Assent.
Over the years the country had numerous failed attempts to legalize single-events wagers but now the bill has impressive supports behind it such as many casino regulators, governments, and of course the gambling fans themselves. Many gambling regulators voiced their support by stating that such legal change will provide a competitive market. Reports suggest that roughly CA$$125 million to CA$175 million will be added to the industry’s annual revenue.
Before this week’s hearing, authorities have requested a study on the matter before officially voting on March 25, 2021. The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has also been welcomed to attend the upcoming vote, the association is also a big supporter of the single-game betting offerings and is eager to see how the events will unfold over the coming weeks.
B.C. Says Go Ahead
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has been one of the supporters of the change and believes that this would be the right step forward. According to the corporation the introduction of single-event betting will be welcomed by gambling fans who have been rather restrained in terms of their gambling possibilities and this will give them much bigger freedom and choice. Plus, the Crown Corporation will greatly benefit from the additional revenue while its gambling properties are still closed.
Horse Racing Industry Also Gives the Nod
The horse racing industry from Ontario also showed backing for the proposed Bill C-218. Woodbine Entertainment and Ontario Racing have joined their efforts to ensure that despite supporting the initiative, the industry is rather cautious of potential unintended negative effects to the field by the upcoming changes. Both live harness leaders are urging the government to ensure that the industry will be protected from any harmful impacts such as cannibalization of the field.
Source: Monroe, Christina “Hearing Next Week To Foretell Fate of Canada Legal Sports Betting”, Legal Sports Betting, March 21, 2021