Betting on single games of hockey, football and other sports will soon become legal in Canada.
Legislation that allows Canadians to legally bet on single football, hockey and other sports events has cleared the Senate, which means royal assent is the final step before Bill C-218 finally becomes law.
Bill C-218, a private member's bill that amends Criminal Code provisions around gambling on single sports games (currently illegal except for horse racing), has been approved on June 22, 2021 by the Senate, in an attempt to win back customers from US casinos, illegal bookmakers and offshore sites.
The legislation has been accepted by the Canadian Football League, National Hockey League and other professional sports. It has also received support from a tight-knit equestrian community that is constantly wary of casinos and foreign gambling sites encroaching on its turf.
The Canadian Gaming Association has welcomed the possibility of working with provincial partners as a result of this decision. CEO of the CGA Paul Burns said, "This is a major milestone and achievement for the Canadian gaming industry. The CGA has been working to legalize single-event sports betting for more than 10 years and this bill benefited from a groundswell of broad stakeholder support across the country."
In Canada, a bill must be given royal assent by the Governor General prior to officially becoming an act of Parliament. Chief Justice Richard Wagner will perform this duty in this case. The bill would then become law on a date set by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet.
The quest to end the ban in single-game betting in Canada has been followed closely by gambling operators in Canada and overseas, ready to pounce on a new market expected to be worth billions of dollars.
Once the bill has been granted royal assent, the Canadian provinces will have the authority to provide a legal, safe and controlled sports betting option to residents and to impose strong wagering rules and regulations for the whole country.