Canadian New Gambling Bill to Legalize Single Game Sports Betting

‎‎‎‎‎‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‎‎‏‎GamblersBet Blog Canada Legalization Single Game Sports Betting
by Dave Brown
Canada legalization Single Game Sports Betting

There are huge changes coming to how bets can be made with sportsbooks in Canada in the near future. At least, that is the indication that has been signaled by the passing of legislation in the Canadian Parliament over the past couple of weeks.

The bill, which has cross-party support from across the house, is expected to expand the sports betting for real money options that are available to those that are looking to make wagers on sports such as soccer, ice hockey and basketball. But, what is the bill and what could it affect for everyday gamblers in Canada?

What Will The Bill Change?

It could be a groundbreaking deal for gamblers in Canada, as the bill will allow single-game bets to be made on all sports markets. It will come as a surprise to international bettors, as these are the common bets that gamblers make on a weekly basis with the biggest fixtures throughout the season. However, gambling laws in Canada have meant that Canadians have only been able to wager money on parlays.

In betting terms, that means that gamblers will be able to wager their money on more markets for each respective fixture, including the over/under and next goalscorer markets. The bill was introduced as the C-13, and it will decriminalize the single-event betting law.

The law that is currently in place means that gamblers aren’t able to bet on a single outcome of a sporting fixture, and instead, bettors have needed to bet on outcomes of multiple fixtures. While these longer formed bets have remained popular with sportsbook fans, there is a need for the online bookmakers to remain competitive with the offshore sites that offer a wider selection of markets to their customers.

Is Gambling Popular In Canada?

The answer to this question is unshakably yes. Gambling is a huge industry in Canada, but the offshore sportsbooks and the markets that they offer has had a huge impact on the number of bettors that are joining offshore sites. That means Canadian money is slipping out of the country, and that has had a negative impact on the revenues that Canadian bookmakers have been able to take. That has been especially felt during this year due to the coronavirus pandemic having a detrimental effect on all businesses.

Changing the law is believed to ensure that the Canadian sportsbooks will be able to play on a level playing field with their offshore competitors. There was opposition against passing this bill to enable single-game betting in the past, with some claiming that the opportunity to do this could lead to match-fixing in the biggest leagues.

However, that stance has certainly softened over the previous couple of years with a number of the biggest sporting leagues joining forces with casinos such as MGM Resorts to boost the popularity of sports betting in the United States. 

To emphasis the amount of money that the changing of the law could have for bookmakers in Canada, it’s important to understand the money that is going towards offshore sites by Canadian gamblers. It was reported that $10 billion was being spent by Canadian gamblers through the black market, while an additional $4 billion was being spent by Canadian bettors to offshore sportsbooks. It isn’t hard to see why there was a driving force behind these numbers, as gamblers want to maximise their potential returns by wagering money on the single-match markets that are offered elsewhere.

Could There Still Be Opposition?

While there is cross-party support for the bill change, there is still some opposition that opposes the bill. One of those against the bill is MP Adam Vaughn. His reason for opposition is down to his belief that casinos bankrupt their customers and look for new markets to replace businesses. The horse racing industry in Canada also has reservations about the potential deal, as they want the future of their sport safeguarded before agreeing to the bill.

The biggest concern that the industry has is down to the fact that horse racing in Canada relies on pari-mutual wagering. However, the industry appears open to discussions, which could mean that it is promising for gamblers. Meanwhile, all of the other major sports leagues in North America have already supported the bill, with the NBA, NHL and MLB all signing on to show their support.

However, it is hugely likely that the bill will get passed, with Pat Burns, who is the president of the Canadian Gaming Association, admitting that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel after years of advocating by MPs on his behalf. It will have a profound impact on the gambling industry in Canada if the bill is passed, as it will finally give the bookmakers in the Great White the opportunity to compete with the offshore sites.

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