Legal sports betting at a Canada casino in 2020 – What are the odds?
For more years than most of you have been alive, Canadians have been able to place a wide range of bets on a vast number of amusements. Horse race betting was always a thing. Bingo and special charity events have been around for ages. We’ve had lotteries since the 1970s, and the first genuine casinos came along in the 1980s.
It was around that time the nation’s lottery officials came up with the idea of a launching a sports lottery they called Sports Select (Pari Sportif). Most provinces launched it under the name Pro-Line. Any adult-aged Canadian could walk into a lottery retailer, fill out a Pro-Line slip, and purchase it, just like a 6/49 lotto ticket.
For many, many years, we were content with this; especially in the 1990s, when the US government through a blanket-ban across sports gambling in all states except Nevada. Suddenly, Canada was leading the legal sports betting race in North America, and that made us content with parlay-style Pro-Lines, despite their terrible odds. What the nation refused to allow was any form of…
…sports betting at a Canada casino.
By Canadian law, in order to bet on sports, you must pick at least three winners. All of your picks must be correct to win the bet. The payout for doing so is a nice one, but like I said – the odds are terrible. Still, it was better than what most Americans had access to, and for that, we were grateful. That is, until the internet came along.
When online sportsbooks began popping up, Canadians realized they could take advantage of much better odds. They could place all sorts of bets, including the favorable straight-up, single-event wagers that have never been legal in our home country. Millions of dollars began flowing offshore into these online bookmakers, and while Canada’s politicians did take notice, it wasn’t enough to guide their hand into signing off on a single-event sports betting bill. At least, not yet. If there’s one thing Canada is prone to, it’s…
…keeping up with the Jones’s.
Where the population’s legal privileges are concerned, if we can’t be ahead of the US, we’d at least like to be riding alongside them. For all those years, we enjoyed a lead in the sports betting arena. Then in 2018, the US repealed PASPA, making it legal for all states to pass universal sports betting laws. Many states have already done so, and more have bills on the table as I write.
Since 2011, certain members of Canada’s major political parties have been trying to pass a single-event wagering law. NDP Joe Comartin started the push 9 years ago. When his attempts failed – despite anonymous approval of the House – MP Brian Masse took up the charge. Not even the House was willing to approve his bill. But now, Canada has a reason to reconsider.
Not only is the international online gambling market soaking up millions of dollars each year from Canadian sports fans looking for a better deal, US casinos just across the border already have, or will soon have, sportsbooks set up, welcoming all Canadians to partake in their services. The truth is, there are…
…no more legitimate reasons to say no.
Canada’s sports fans are begging for it. Provincial gaming regulator’s are lobbying for it. More and more politicians are supporting it. Even professional sports leagues are in favor of it. The only thing standing in the way now is pride, and as Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) so eloquently pointed out in Pulp Fiction, “Pride never helps, it only hurts” (preceded by some other choice words).
So when you ask, what are the odds we’ll be privy to sports betting at a Canada casino before 2020 is out, I have to believe they are pretty good; certainly far better than any Pro-Line parlay odds we’ve got access to now.