Sports betting fans in Canada rejoiced on Wednesday as the country became closer than ever to legalizing sports betting.
Bill C-218, which would see the legalization of single-game sports events across Canada, passed through its second-reading at the Canadian House of Commons. The final tally had 303 Members of Parliament in favor while only 15 opposed the bill.
Conservative MP Kevin Waugh was the one who sponsored the bill. After it passed its second reading, he said he was “pleased” by the result.
“This change is supported by professional sports leagues, unions, gaming institutions, chambers of commerce, provincial governments, and many other groups,” Waugh said in a statement through the Conservative Party.
“I look forward to continuing to work on this bill as it makes its way towards becoming law.”
The bill will have to go through a third reading next. If it passes that part of the process too, it will make its way to the Senate.
Assuming the Senate approves, the bill would then be sent to the Governor-General for Royal Assent. Yes, it’s a lengthy process, but for potential Canadian bettors, it should be worth the wait.
Sports Betting Platform Excited for Legalization
Waugh isn’t the only one who was happy about the bill being passed after its second-reading.
Founder and CEO of Score Media and Gaming Inc. John Levy announced that he was glad to see sports betting legalization in Canada moving in the right direction.
“Today’s development in the House of Commons, focusing on the legalization of single event sports betting in Canada, is a significant step forward in the process to amend an outdated law,” Levy said in a statement on theScore’s website. “The positive outcome of today’s vote demonstrates the continuing momentum and strong cross-party support for this issue.”
While theScore’s mobile app is used to keep up to date on scores of practically every professional sports league, they also have a sportsbook app, theScore Bet.
theScore Bet is currently available in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and New Jersey, allowing bettors in those states to place pre-game and live wagers on a variety of sports. If everything goes well with Bill C-218, theScore is aiming to have their sportsbook as one of the first available for Canadian bettors.
According to their statement, theScore’s expecting that Canada could see “US$3.8 billion and US$5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue.”
Another Bill could Legalize Sports Betting in Canada
While Bill C-218 has shown promise when it comes to legalizing sports betting in Canada, there is another one.
Bill C-13 is a federal government-backed bill that would legalize sports betting if passed. It was introduced in November 2020 and was one vote away from being approved unanimously in December. If that happened, it would’ve gone straight from a first-reading to the Senate.
Instead, it’s looking like it’ll have it’s second-reading on Friday, February 19.
Whether or not it reaches a unanimous decision remains to be seen. However, the future for sports betting in Canada looks promising with two bills working towards the same goal.