Andrew Wilson | Wed 30/06/2021 - 04:57 EDT

Canadian Senate Passes Bill C 218 Legalizing Single Event Sports Betting

Canadian Senate Passes Bill C 218 Legalizing Single Event Sports Betting

After deliberations, the Canadian Senate has passed Bill C-218 to amend the criminal code to allow single-even sports betting in Canada.

After being tabled over a year ago, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-218 legalizing single-event sports betting by a vote of 57-20. The bill's passing will have a sweeping impact on the sports betting industry and sports bettors in Canada.

What is Bill C-218?

In simple terms, Bill C-218 (Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act) makes it lawful for provincial governments and persons or entities licensed (by the appropriate governing body) to offer single-event betting (excluding horse racing, in which single betting was already legal) on sporting events and athletic contests.

The bill – introduced by Kevin Waugh – was introduced and first read on February 25, 2020. The Senate approved the bill on June 22, 2021. Since Canada already had legal sports betting, Bill C-218 is an amendment to existing sport betting laws – removing the one line that prohibited single-event betting.

When Will Bill C-218 Come into Effect?

While the Federal Government created the laws surrounding sports betting in Canada, it is entirely up to each province to determine how they proceed with the passage of Bill C-218. Currently, when each province introduces single-event sports betting is uncertain.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation released details prior to the passage of Bill C-218, stating they have the capacity to introduce single-event sports betting in the province only days to weeks after its passage. The Ontario government said it expects to release a framework by the fall and rollout single-event sports betting by the end of 2021.

The bill still needs to receive royal assent (essentially a rubber stamp that makes it a law), and the federal government needs to set a date for it to come into effect. This is a ceremonial and straightforward process – although the summer recess could delay it until the fall (and why we do not believe we will see it in Canada until the end of 2021).

What to Expect When Provinces Introduce Single-Event Sports Betting

Arguably the most important question around single-event sports betting is how the province will regulate it. For the most part, the provinces have been mum on whether they will allow the sports betting market to expand outside of provincial lotto corporations.

What We Can Learn From the United States?

Looking at the United States – where sports betting is now legal in 21 states and Washington D.C., there is a range of possibilities for what the provinces decide to do.

Some states have fully opened their sport betting markets, allowing multiple sportsbooks to operate in the state. This outcome is the best for Canadian bettors as more options mean more competition, better variety, and better sports betting odds.

Some states have limited sports betting only to casinos and gaming floors. This outcome seems the least likely as lotteries, casino games, and sports betting is already available online through provincial lotto corporations.

Another potential outcome – at least when they launch in each province – is for sports betting only to be available through the existing provincial sports betting service. Some states have opted for this model, and it is likely outcome for some provinces – until they at least figure out how they want to regulate Canadian-based operators and sportsbooks.

Companies Interested in Entering or Expanding in Canada

Many sportsbooks have expressed interest in entering the Canadian market (valued at around $5 billion per year) but need to wait until provinces decide how they want to regulate the industry.

TheScore – a Canadian digital sports media company, has moved into the sports betting industry in the last few years and already operates sportsbooks in some U.S. states. DraftKings is another sportsbook interested in entering the Canadian market.  DraftKings has operated in Canada for years as a daily fantasy sports site.

Sports Interaction is an online sportsbook that could expand operations in Canada. The online sportsbook was supportive of Bill C-218 but also wanted amendments to it before it passed – to accommodate their existing Indigenous and economic interests in sports betting.

Things We Hope Bill C-218 Could Do for or Bring to Canada

The passing of Bill C-218 has benefits outside of the legalization of single-event sports betting.

  • Introduce betting inside of stadium: licensed sportsbooks could open up shop inside of stadiums and arenas – providing bettors with the option to bet on games they attend.
  • Help the Canadian Football League survive: One of the biggest supporters of Bill C-218 is the Canadian Football League. The league staunchly believes single-event sports betting will increase its profits and help it recover from the lost year of revenue due to the pandemic.
  • Increased funding for Canadian sports and athletics: One of the main reasons – if not the main reason – for Bill C-218 is to shift all sports betting to government-regulated sportsbooks in Canada. By doing so, the government can make more taxes from sports betting revenue. Those taxes could provide added support for Canadian sports and athletics – helping make Canada more competitive on the global stage.

Where you can Bet on Sports Right Now?

The best Canadian online sportsbooks are available and legal for Canadians to use to bet on their favourite sports. With a massive selection of sports – from the Stanley Cup to international cricket – you can find just about anything at the best online sportsbooks. Sign up today through the links underneath to receive an exclusive welcome bonus.

Category : Sports Blog

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