Most recently the President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, has shared more light on how single-sports betting in Canada will operate in an online Q&A. The association has been a big advocate for the introduction of the betting option and has put an enormous amount of effort into its materialization of becoming a law in the country.
Sports betting on an individual event will be legalized thanks to the passing of Bill C-218 in the Canadian Senate. The bill has also received its Royal Assent to become a law and it would amend the Criminal Code to lift the prohibition on single-game wagering in the country. Its introduction has been a long-awaited change in Canada as it is believed that it can further elevate the country’s gaming industry.
To the question of was the right time to introduce single-sports betting, Mr. Burns answered positively. He explained that there were a number of reasons for the push of the bill in Canada, and the U.S.A. sports betting expansion is one of them. Additionally, many sporting leagues have also opted for the change in Canada, and the fact that the bill received major support.
Another question that was directed at the President was how big can sports betting in Canada turn out to be. Mr. Burns responded that this is reliant on several factors, such as how it is operated and offered to the locals. He believes Ontario has the most potential to realize the full scale of single-sports betting as the province is proceeding with an open license for online gaming, which is separate from the bill.
However, according to him, one concern is that the grey market will continue to operate outside of Ontario. He said that it remains to be seen whether other provinces will allow private sports betting operators to enter the markets. He explained that no one can replicate Ontario’s operations as it would require an enormous market. But provinces can adopt the US model of limited licenses tied to casinos.
When asked whether single-sports betting could be available by Labour Day, the CEO responded that there are still some details to be ironed out. Such as the cabinet to recommend an enactment date for the bill, which is not done yet. However, Mr. Burns believes that it could be done by then as the provinces and offshore sites such as U.S. operators like PointsBet and DraftKings, and FanDuel are eager to begin.
Prioritize the Bill
As already mentioned, the Canadian Gaming Association has been a major lobbyist for the introduction of single-sports betting offerings in the country. In May the institution urged the Senate to prioritize Bill C-218. The association was alarmed that since back then land-based casinos are closed down, gamblers will then have much more time on their hands to wager on illegal websites, and it has even launched an online campaign for the legislation named #bettersportsbetting.
A previous news release from the Canadian Gaming Association saw the organization welcome aboard a new member in the face of the prominent eSports gaming provider and developer named Fandom Sports. The news came at the end of May, which was great timing for the eSports company which also eagerly awaited the introduction of Bill C-218 as it would provide huge growth opportunities.
Source: Duff, Bob “Canadian Single-Game Sports Betting Q&A With Paul Burns”, Bookies, July 19, 2021