A major change to the sports betting laws in Canada could happen soon, and professional sports in the United States are hopeful that it happens. Parliament in Canada is set to meet on Wednesday to discuss a new sports betting bill on the table.
Sports betting is currently legal in Canada, but it is limited to parlay betting. Single-game betting is still prohibited, meaning that bettors must correctly pick a certain number of games before they can cash out their winnings.
MP Kevin Faugh filed Bill C-218 back in February to allow single-game betting in Canada. This is the second attempt that Faugh has made to legalize single-game betting, but his first attempt died out last year.
Brain Masse is the biggest supporter of the bill filed by Faugh, and the two men recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They are urging the Prime Minister to support single-game sports betting to bring in more revenue to the provinces.
Canada, like the United States, has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and it has cost the country billions of dollars. Legalizing sports betting won’t fix all of the financial problems, but it is a great way to bring in more revenue.
The growth of the sports betting industry in the United States is another major reason that lawmakers are looking to expand in Canada. Residents of Canada are traveling across the border to place their bets on sports, meaning that Canada is losing out on plenty of money.
Parliament will meet for the final time on Wednesday before they take an extended break until September. Faugh and Masse are hopeful that action will be taken on the bill so that plans can be made to launch single-game sports betting at some point in 2020.
Leaders in Ontario have vocally supported this bill as well, and that could help things get moving. Ontario is the biggest province in Canada, and it has been extremely influential in the passing of previous laws.
Sports Commissioners Offer Support
League commissioners from five professional sports leagues in North America have expressed their support of expanded sports betting in Canada. The five commissioners made a joint statement last week, and they claim that it will help grow their sport as well as be beneficial to Canada.
The five commissioners that made the statement were Rob Manfred of Major League Baseball, Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association, Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League, Don Garber of Major League Soccer, and Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambroise.
The commissioners are hoping that single-game betting is legalized so that fans will have a new way to engage with their sport. This has been the sentiment of the commissioners in the United States as well, although that hasn’t always been the case.
Just two years ago, five of the most powerful sports leagues in the United States tried to stop the legalization of sports betting. The leagues lost a case before the Supreme Court, and states were able to begin legalizing sports betting.
Since that time, the leagues have seen the power of sports betting, and several leagues have begun partnering with sports betting companies. The commissioners are now hoping that the same thing will happen in Canada.
The commissioners noted in their statement that regulating the industry will protect the sport as well as protect the sports bettors. Each commissioner has at least one team in Canada, which was their main reason for getting involved.