Single-Event Betting in Canada, According to the Experts

What the Experts Say about Canada Sports Betting Bill C-13Find out what the experts are saying about Canada sports betting Bill C-13.

Canada’s political figureheads have been trying to pass a single-event betting law for years now. Legislation was tabled in 2012, 2016, 2018, and again in February of 2020. For whatever reason, each of these bills suffered an unceremonious death. When yet another bill was tabled in late November 2020, the response was entirely different; not because of any revisions to make it more appealing to lawmakers, but because times are very different today from what they were ten months ago.

In the following text, we’ll take a quick look at what CA Minister of Justice and Attorney General David T. Lametti’s sponsored Bill C-13 contains, and what the so-called experts are saying about it.

Canada Sports Betting Bill C-13

Lametti’s bill is hardly any different from the multiple pieces of single-event sports betting legislation before it. Even the short tile, Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, remains the same. And, like its predecessors, the bill’s intent is the give all provinces and territories of Canada the option to legalise and regulate wagering on single sporting events. With regulations in place, these jurisdictions will be able to license retail sportsbooks and launch online sports betting operations.

According to BNN Bloomberg, on the day of the bill’s first reading, Justice Minister Lametti told local media;

The goal of the legislation is simple: it is to bring a common practice out of the shadows and into the open. To make it legal, regulated and safe.”

It’s no secret that Canadians have been betting on sports – the unauthorized single-event variety – for years now without government consent. International online sportsbooks, which operate in a “grey market” since they are not technically illegal, have been accepting Canadian bets for last two decades, generating an estimated $4 billion in annual wagers. Then there’s black market betting, largely operated by organized crime syndicates, which is said to take in $10 billion in annual bets. That’s an estimated $14 billion market that could be harnessed with the passage of Lametti’s bill.

What the Experts are Saying about It

This time around, everyone with an intellectual right to weigh in on the mater agrees this bill is the one that will make it to the finish line. If they’re right, legal single event sports betting will finally come to Canada. Some even say it could happen as soon as Spring 2021. Here’s what some of the experts and major market players have to say.

MP Brian Masse, Outspoken Proponent of Single-Event Betting

MP Brian Masse, representing Windsor, Ontario, has been the most outspoken proponent of single-event betting in Canada. He directly sponsored multiple bills, and backed MP Kevin Waugh’s later sponsorship in 2018 and 2020. Masse’s reaction was a positive one, to put it mildly.

This is a single-event sport betting bill, but it’s really to deal with the issue of organized crime receiving significant funds from gaming that’s taking place, that could take place in a regulated setting. It’s also about putting that resource and money towards education, infrastructure, and other provincial matters...”

Masse goes on to say the Canadian sports betting bill C-13 “has robust support from many different parts of this country.” He praised its ability to give each provincial government the choice to “bring that product to market in a fashion they see fit.”

Paul Burns, President of Canadian Gaming Association

The Canadian Gaming Association has played an instrumental role in lobbying for the legalisation of single-event betting over the last decade. Bloomberg News reported these hopeful comments from CGA President Paul Burns.

Canada’s gaming industry has been severely impact [sic] by COVID-19 so having access to this new product will assist in the industry’s recovery. Our expectation is that it will now move expediently through the process to completion.”

John Levy, CEO of Score Media & Gaming Inc

Score Media & Gaming is the proud owner and operator of theScore Bet mobile sports app. CEO John Levy was quick to issue this statement following introduction of the bill.

Canadians deserve a modernized and regulated sports betting market and we commend the federal government for their efforts to legalize single-event wagering. There is now clear cross-party support and strong momentum to amend Canada’s outdated federal laws and enable the legal sports betting market to flourish...”

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