Canada’s Sports Betting Bill Could Fix Its Gambling Industry
While sports betting has been spreading across the United States, our neighbor to the north – Canada – has had it for a while. However, Canadian bettors could only place parlay wagers. They’re bets made of multiple bets on single games. If you make a parlay bet on the Broncos and the Jets winning, then they both have to win for you to earn winnings. Parlays can be attractive because their odds are higher, which guarantees higher payouts. But they’re riskier, so fewer bettors win. It’s not always the ideal way to bet.
However, Canada’s new sports betting bill would allow bets on single games. That would let bettors wager on one game at a time, giving them fair chances to win. It has been a sore spot for a while. But the bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law.
Canada’s Sports Betting Bills
There are actually two sports betting bills on Canada’s docket: C-218 and C-13. The bill names are uninspiring, and the content of these bills is nearly identical. However, passing them together would create new sports betting opportunities for sportsbook companies looking to expand.
Shortly before this was written, the House of Commons passed C-218. It still has to clear some legislative hurdles. But sportsbook companies and commentators alike are thrilled at this small development. (Although, anything short of the bill dying would bring celebration to the sports betting blogosphere.) Celebrations are still premature. But since the bill passed with 303 yeas to 15 nays, there’s plenty of reason to be cautiously optimistic.
What The Bills Do
C-218 would give Canada’s provinces the responsibility of regulating single-event sports wagers. It’s a little like how the United States allows each state to license and regulate sportsbooks. But in Canada, it won’t be optional. The provinces will have to get their regulatory agencies in line to make sports betting happen.
C-13 is a little different. It’s the same as C-218, but it doesn’t legalize horse racing at a federal level. There’s already a federal agency that manages horse racing, so it doesn’t need to be re-legalized.
The other difference is that C-218 was introduced by a conservative member of the House of Commons. C-13 was introduced by “the government.” That basically gives lawmakers in Canada two different ways to reform sports betting and gambling as a whole.
The State Of Canadian Gambling
Bettors, sports organizations, and everyone else who could benefit from sports betting legalization have wanted Canada to loosen its sports betting rules for a while. It’s probably not a coincidence that Canada’s push to reform sports betting has come after the United States’ push to legalize it. As the United States builds a healthy sports betting market, Canadian lawmakers will see how lucrative it can be. Pressure from sports betting stakeholders will only intensify if Canada doesn’t pass sports betting legislation.
The 303 House of Commons members who voted to move C-218 to committee probably know that, too. Nobody wants to watch Americans wager billions of dollars on sports without getting a slice of that revenue.
Far-Reaching Implications Of Canadian Sports Betting
Adding a new market is great for sportsbooks. However, the companies that own them get a boost, too. Publicly traded sportsbook companies, like DraftKings and FanDuel, will likely see stock price increases as Canada gets closer to legalizing sports betting. Nothing makes investors optimistic about the future like a new market opening the floodgates!
However, Canada’s sports betting market will also be part of a larger effort to stamp out illegal sportsbooks and bookies. The more countries that regulate sports betting, the fewer places illegal sportsbooks have to hide. However, Canada’s impact on illegal sports betting will likely be limited to domestic offenders. Legalizing sports betting in Canada won’t shut down seedy offshore sportsbooks. But it does take one market away from organized criminals and local bookies.
One thing is clear though. The potential of Canada’s sports betting market has sportsbook companies drooling. Particularly enthusiastic Canadian bettors can read through our Gambling 101 guides for a head start on sports betting strategy. But don’t become complacent because there’s a lot of momentum behind these bills. If you’re a Canadian citizen, maintain pressure on your elected officials to pass this bill. We don’t know what it’ll look like when it gets out of committee.
And predicting this bill’s success will depend on the changes made between this popular bill and whatever heads to the Senate.
Interested in the current state of sports betting? Check out our state-by-state guides to sports betting legalization as well as our overview of sports betting legalization in the United States.