For Canadian gamblers, the prospect of legal single event sports betting got closer again this week as Private Members Bill C-218 passed its second reading in the House of Commons.
Under another idiosyncrasy of Canadian law, this type of gambling if outlawed in the Criminal Code, whilst Parlay Betting, or Accumulator, in which punters bet on the outcome of multiple events, is allowed.
Currently Canadian bettors looking to play online must wager with offshore bookmakers if they are to gamble on sports markets for popular events like ice hockey and soccer.
Stakeholders in the state-licensed provincial gambling sites like PlayNow.com, owned by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, are pushing to see the C-218 Bill passed as soon as possible.
There are still some hurdlers to be overcome before the bill becomes law, and it will need to be reviewed by committee next before it moves to the Senate where a positive vote will make single event betting legal at last.
The BCLC is leading the push and seeking the support of its allies in Ottawa and the other provinces who are also already making plans to legalise online casino gambling. They believe that rolling out sports betting markets on their PlayNow.com website can be done quickly and easily.
The Director of eGaming at PlayNow, Stewart Groumoutis, said, “We’re calling on all Members of Parliament to work together collaboratively to legalize single-event betting for the benefit of our players and provinces. Our players want single-event sports betting, and we are ready to provide this enhanced offering to them in a safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of BC.”
Another stakeholder in the industry, John Levy, Founder and CEO of Score Media and Gaming, said:
“The positive outcome of today’s vote demonstrates the continuing momentum and strong cross-party support for this issue. We expect that the legalization of single event sports betting will facilitate the introduction by provinces and territories of a much-needed modernized sports betting framework in their respective jurisdictions that can include important consumer protections and the ability to generate new revenue streams for provincial and territorial governments.”
“As Canada’s leading mobile sports media brand with a uniquely integrated sports betting platform, we look forward to collaborating with key stakeholders as the legislative process continues, to ensure that betting reform works for all Canadians and their communities.”
The legalisation of sports betting online and offline is another step in the journey towards a fully regulated online gambling market that will encompass online casinos and poker too, and would look similar to that opening south of the border in the US.