While Canada allows online gambling, sports betting there has been somewhat restricted. Only parlay bets are allowed, not bets on single sports matches. However, it seems that changes are on the horizon.
History of gambling in Canada
The Canadian authorities have always stuck to their principles when it comes to gambling laws. While there was a lot of potential profit on the table if widespread legalization was implemented, they took a slow and steady approach.
Current laws are flexible enough while ensuring that the general gambling public is kept protected.
Most gambling was illegal in Canada before the 1970s, and criminal gangs controlled most illegal gambling. In 1970, the laws began to slacken somewhat, and the average person had more access to gambling. In 1985, provinces were allowed to oversee gambling activities such as lotteries, charity gaming, and slots.
Of course, with the advent of online gambling, there were calls for its legalization. It is currently legal in Canada in a limited form, with a limited amount of slots offered.
The authorities are now said to be exploring the possibility of allowing single match sports betting, which is currently not allowed. Only parlay bets are allowed on sports events and there is a federal ban on other options. (Parlay betting is betting on a series of games over the course of a day, similar to an accumulator.)
US industry pressures
The US Supreme Court recently overturned that country’s ban on sports betting, which has opened the door to widespread legalization throughout the country.
Now individual states have the power to legalize sports betting in their jurisdictions, and many states have been rushing to do so since this historic decision was made at the beginning of May. Delaware and New Jersey have already passed their laws and sports betting is thriving in those states.
This is why a lot of the cities bordering the United States or close to the border, such as Regina, Fredericton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa are looking for changes in their country’s gambling laws.
Of course, one of the major things discussed is that revenue from illegal gambling being siphoned offshore. Research shows that over $3.84bn (£2.94bn) annually is spent on overseas illegal betting platforms. Therefore, if more widespread legalization was implemented, the country would get its fair share of economic reward through higher tax revenue and more money would go into the local economies rather than into the pockets of illegal offshore gambling operators.
This is why certain provinces have launched their own campaigns to have single-game sports betting allowed. This type of legislation is relatively straightforward to introduce and could be quickly implemented.
There is a space in the market right now, as the individual states in the US have to go through a lot more red tape than their Canadian counterparts. If the authorities move quickly, the Canadian provinces can have widespread single-game betting implemented before most US states. This would mean that Canadian operators would have more sportsbooks in place and would be able to build up customer loyalty.
This is not the first time there has been a push for single-game betting in Canada. In 2016, some legislation was advanced to legalize it, but the House of Commons did not pass it.
With US states going ahead with full legalization this year, the Canadian authorities may feel that the time is ripe to do so also or they will risk being left behind.