The federal government has made it legal to gamble on individual sporting events, bringing legitimacy to a murky industry where Canadians already spend billions of dollars a year.
However, the news does not open the floodgates: the federal law – which will apply from 27 August – only allows provinces to regulate sports betting that they deem appropriate.
“Canadians will have the opportunity to participate in single-event sports betting in a regulated and safe environment at the discretion of the provinces and territories,” Attorney General David Lametti said at a news conference in Niagara Falls, Ont., On Thursday.
According to the federal government, Canadians spend about $ 10 billion a year on individual sporting events as part of betting illegally conducted on the black market by organized criminal networks. An additional $ 4 billion a year is spent by Canadians in the so-called gray market in offshore jurisdictions where such bets are legal.
The new rules have the potential to bring this money back to Canada in a way that can be monitored and taxed.
“Canadians have been betting on sports for a long time, but there has been a remnant in criminal law that has prevented betting on individual events,” says St. Catharines, Ont., MP Chris Bittle, who also attended the event.
“We have an opportunity to regulate, control it and take the money out of the hands of organized crime.”
Great expected move
Six provinces currently allow so-called parlay betting through provincial agencies, where players must bet on the outcome of at least three separate sporting events and correctly predict the outcome of all three in order for the bet to pay off.
SE | Pushed for single-event sports betting in Canada:
Betting on a single event – the winner of the Super Bowl, Gray Cup or Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, for example – was previously impossible to accomplish through services regulated in Canada.
Therefore, the opening of the market for individual betting is seen as the next step towards a more widespread use of the growing market for sports betting.
Following the announcement Thursday, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) said in a statement that players in the province will be able to bet on single play online from 27 August.
“OLG has been looking forward to offering single-event sports betting to adult Ontarians for many years,” said CEO Duncan Hannay.
The move is long overdue, says Chris Lencheski, CEO of Winning Streak Sports and professor at Columbia University in New York.
“People want to know who they’re betting on,” he told CBC News. “It keeps the money inside the province or inside the country.”
Brian Eggers, a gaming analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, is linking the total sports gambling market in Canada to about $ 11 billion at the moment and is set to roughly double within five years.
“The train [has] something left the station already, “Lencheski said.” They play catch-up in Canada.… Today’s legislation, I think, is just smart – so the Canadian marketplace can be controlled by Canadians. “
Great betting deals
Big US money had already moved in recent weeks to strengthen its dominance over Canada’s sports betting market. On Monday, the Nasdaq was listed Penn National offered to buy the shares in Toronto-based Score Media. At first blush, the $ 2 billion price tag that Penn agreed to pay may seem exorbitant to a company like Score, which is expected to consume less than $ 40 million next year.
But analysts covering the sector call it a wise move, as Canada’s market is poised for rapid growth.
“The strategic rationale for this agreement makes sense to us,” said JP Morgan analyst Joseph Greff.
Score owns the most popular sports app in Canada, putting it in a “strong position to roll out commercial
sports betting in Canada, Greff said. “
Eggers says he expects Scores technology and first-mover advantage will eventually allow the company to swallow about 20 percent of the sports betting market in Canada.
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