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Canada’s House of Commons Approves Single-Event Betting Bill

Posted on April 29, 2021 | 6:39 am

Canada got one step closer to the legalization of single-event betting after Bill C-218 has finally been approved by the House of Commons last week. Now the bill will be discussed by the Senate, which will have the final say on the matter.

Bill C-218, the much-anticipated piece of legislation that will finally allow single-event betting in Canada, was first introduced in February 2020. This bill basically amends Canada’s Criminal Code, which imposed a ban on betting on single sports events since 1985.

Under current legislation, people in Canada can only wager on at least three games or more, which makes betting on a single event or match illegal. Earlier in April, the bill was discussed in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which requested opinions on it from various industry stakeholders.

For instance, theScore chairman and chief executive John Levy submitted his opinion in support of the bill. Score Media and Gaming Incorporated is a digital media company based in Toronto, which owns and operates digital sports media and sports betting products. In his address, Levy urged the House of Commons to pass the bill “as quickly as possible.”

Moreover, the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) also submitted their view to the Committee and pointed out that the single sports bet prohibition resulted in only 31% of Canadian bets being placed onshore. For comparison, the IBIA showed that in Great Britain there are 99% of bets being placed with licensed operators.

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Wide Support for the Bill

The Canadian government also decided to support the bill publicly, while the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the state-owned gambling operator in the province, urged the Parliament to pass the bill.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC), the regulatory agency for gambling in the province of Alberta, has also announced its full support for Bill C-218. Niaz Nejad, the Chief Operating Officer of Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, pointed out that the new law would deal a big blow to illegal betting, which is estimated at around 3 billion Canadian dollars every year.

Major sports leagues also support the bill: the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) have all gone public to reveal their backing for the new legislation.

Source: “Canada single-event sports betting bill heads to Senate after Commons approval“iGB North America. April 23, 2021.

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