Canada has revealed its plan to enact single-sports betting: beginning August 27, citizens will be able to legally bet on single sporting events, thus ending the country’s long-standing ban.
The announcement was made by Justice Minister David Lametti at the Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Thursday.
“Provinces and territories will be able to offer single event sport betting products, like wagering on the Grey Cup, game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, or the Super Bowl,” said Lametti.
Happy to be in the Niagara area, where I grew up, to make a great announcement with @Chris_Bittle and @VBadawey. Single sport betting will be completely legal as of August 27th. All Canadians will benefit from safe and responsible gambling and the profits that come with it. pic.twitter.com/AShpKGoUeP— David Lametti (@DavidLametti) August 12, 2021
The announcement marks the end of the federal government’s role in the legalization of this type of gamble, as now provinces and territories are the ones to allow the new forms of wagering. The sole exception is betting on horse racing, which will continue to be regulated by the federal government.
Bill C-218 had received loyal assent on June 29, but the date in which it would come into force took more than 40 days to be revealed, a delay criticized by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) amongst other actors within the industry.
One of the main driving forces behind the approval of the new law was to end revenue going to illegal sports book, thus creating a new legal and regulated sector.
Under the ban on single-sports betting, it was estimated that around $14 billion per year in wages from Canadians went to offshore firms and homegrown illegal bookmakers, the Canadian Gaming Association reported.
“These changes to the Criminal Code will allow provinces and territories to use revenues to fund programming, such as health care or education, as they do with other lottery revenues,” further added Lametti.
The new legislation had received support from the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB and CFL, following US’ legalizing single-game betting in several states. It also received widespread approval from Canadian casinos and online sportsbook operators, as it is expected that the new market could report nearly $28 billion per year.
The response from the industry has been positive so far: following the announcement, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) said it had been looking forward to offering single-event wagering “for many years."
“We’re thrilled that we’ll be able to incorporate this exciting feature that bettors have been anxiously awaiting into Ontario’s only legal online sportsbook,” said the corporation, announcing the imminent launch of a new digital sports betting platform called PROLINE+. The British Columbia Lottery Corp. has also announced plans to launch single-sports betting.
New PROLINE+ online betting with Single Event Betting and much more!— PROLINE (@OLGproline) August 13, 2021
Get ready for the plus side of sports betting.
But some of the winning operators coming into the market stem from the United States, following recent moves and agreements to gain presence in Canada’s new emerging sector.
One of the most remarkable agreements include Penn National, which announced on August 5 a deal to acquire Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming, which runs sports betting platform theScore, for $2 billion.