The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is urging the Government of Canada to allow single-event sports bets.
Players are currently making single-event sports bets on websites operating illegally in B.C., as PlayNow.com is the only regulated gambling website in the province. Therefore, legalizing single-betting would create a new suite of legal sports-betting opportunities, the BCLC explained in a press release.
More than two-thirds of B.C.’s online gambling market use PlayNow.com, which the BCLC says demonstrates "a clear preference of players to use a regulated website with strong player health, integrity and security safeguards."
“Our players have wanted single-event sports betting for a long time. For example, this weekend is the Super Bowl and our players want to be able to simply bet on the winner, which they are unable to do under the current legislation,” said Stewart Groumoutis, BCLC’s director of eGaming, as reported by Vancouver Is Awesome. "We’re encouraging the federal government to modernize laws so we can provide single-event betting to our players and generate additional revenue to support provincial programs.”
The BCLC said it would work with industry, regulator and government partners to introduce licensed sportsbooks in key markets in land-based casinos and community gaming centres. The lottery corporation added that it would consider "enhanced sports-betting offerings' at hospitality locations across B.C. that sell lottery products. For example, players would be able to place a bet on the Canucks game outcome, and follow along while at their local bar or pub.
The BCLC expects single-event sports betting would generate an estimated $125 to $175 million in additional revenue through online and land-based opportunities. In the 2019/20 fiscal year, money from the BCLC generated $1.3 billion in net income for the Province of B.C., which helps support education, community programs and healthcare.