Gamblers can now place legal single-event wagers as a result of new federal law.
The announcement comes after Bill C-218 also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, was passed into law last month. The bill was designed to repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, which only allowed consumers to wager on at least three or more games with one sports bet. The amended legislation will allow individual provinces to conduct and manage single-event wagers. They will have the power to decide how to tax and regulate it.
According to Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns, sports betting in Canada is “heading in the right direction.”
“We don’t really know why [the federal government] waited so long … there was some politics to it,” Burns said. “Now, there are more people ready to go on the actual live date. No one has to wait too long for at least some access to the products. It’s great to see something rolling out.”
Unsurprisingly, the British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has already taken the leap, offering single-event sports bets through its PlayNow.com platform. The company inked a deal with data provider Genius Sports back in August, intending to use Genius’s LiveData and LiveTrading services for data and pricing.
Commenting on the launch BLC’s interim president and CEO Lynda Cavanaugh said:
“We’re excited to enhance our offerings on PlayNow.com, the only gambling website operating in B.C. where revenue goes back to British Columbians by supporting provincial initiatives like healthcare, education and community programs.”
In Ontario, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is expected to soon go live with its new digital sports betting platform, PROLINE+. The platform is already accepting early registrations and will give customers access to betting on mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.
“We’re thrilled to launch our new digital sportsbook, PROLINE+, on this momentous day where OLG is finally able to offer single-event sports wagering and be among the first in Canada to offer this capability,” Duncan Hannay, OLG president and CEO, said in a press release. “More events, more betting options, and greater accessibility means more fan engagement with the comfort of knowing OLG stands behind the product.”
Similarly in Quebec, Loto-Quebec has re-structured their Mise-o-jeu online sports betting program to now allow for single sports betting. Alberta residents on the other hand will have to wait longer to access single-event wagering with Play Alberta expected to go live in the fall according to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority is also still working on its plan with sources suggesting that it is looking to create a province-wide sports betting app. Manitoba appears to be exploring options to see where single-event sports betting could potentially be offered. Atlantic Lottery Corporation CEO Chris Keevil stated that their ALC.CA online gaming site will require some changes in order to provide singles sports betting.
The journey to launch single-event sports betting in Canada started more than a decade ago. Now with the laws finally amended, the country can begin reaping an anticipated $425m GDP increase, according to PwC. The firm also predicts that Canada’s betting market will grow 10 times its size within the first two years of legalization, generating as much as CA$2.4bn (US$1.89bn) annually.
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