Canada sports betting

  • Canada’s Senate adjourns for 2021 at the end of the month.
  • Bill C-218 to regulate single-game sports betting needs one more reading and a vote for passage before the adjournment.
  • Mobile and retail sportsbooks are expected to launch in Canada by September 6 should the measure pass.

OTTAWA – Single game sports betting could be coming to Canada by the Fall as stakeholders are preparing for Parliament to pass the measure that would allow this to occur. On Wednesday, there was a hearing held within the Canadian Senate where legislation was discussed about a regulatory sports gaming market.

The industry being passed into law has been a long time coming and a favorable outcome was always seen as its conclusion. Bill C-218 was last in the news in March. The measure sets out to amend Canada’s criminal code and open sports betting markets on a province-to-province basis.

Where Does Bill C-218 Currently Stand?

The Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce held Wednesday’s hearing where they heard testimony from the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA). The Commissioner of the CFL, Randy Ambrosie, and the CEO & President of the CGA, Paul Burns, both offered the pros and cons to the committee about a regulated sports betting market in Canada.

In the end, it became clear that the two entities believe sports wagering in Canada is something that should be made into a proper industry as the pros outweigh the cons. While it’s typical for such markets to take an ample amount of time to launch, the CGA expects to have sportsbooks go live by September, should Parliament pass the measure during its next hearing.

The information gathered from this hearing will be used during the upcoming third reading of Bill C-218 where a vote will take place for passage. Both British Columbia and Ontario are already working on the rules and regulations for their individual industries so that they will be able to go live by Labor Day. The reason that this launch date could occur so quickly after the measure is passed is that the lotteries around the country already run parlay sports betting so this would be seen as an easy expansion to that business.

It is estimated that a handle for sports betting in Canada will be seen at $7 billion annually but there is potential for that number to quadruple as the industry becomes more seasoned.

What’s Happening In Canada?

Different provinces in Canada are drawing up plans and operators are doing the same. PointsBet hired Nic Sulsky, the former president of Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) to be their CCO in Canada. This makes it evident that PointsBet is already putting their platform in motion to open its sportsbook services to Canadians before the legislation has even passed.

TheScore sportsbook is also expected to see a surge once a regulated industry opens. They believe that retail and mobile sportsbooks should bring in yearly revenues between $3-5 billion for Canada. The CFL thinks that the market will revive its organization and draw in more fans and profits while the CGA knows Canadians wager daily already, so keeping that money in the country would be beneficial, especially after the losses incurred by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

But however this plays out, everyone will have the answer by the end of the month as Parliament will adjourn for 2021 at that time. A betting man would say that C-218 will pass by the end of June and sportsbooks will begin to launch in Canada by September 6.

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