Canada's iGaming Bill Passes Another Key ReadingPublished May 26, 2021 by Lee R
Social needs and safe gambling head the online gambling movement in Canada.
The Canada market regulation movement is rolling forward.
Further momentum in the process has been established with the passage of the third reading of Bill C-218 in Canada’s House of Commons.
The adapted bill will amend the Criminal Code to allow provinces and territories permission to regulate online and in-person wagers.
Individual sports events covered in the bill include hockey, football and other sports, after the bill already received resounding support during the second reading of the bill in February.
The bill will now moves to the Senate for reading and adoption and after passing to the Governor-General for Royal Assent, with final approval for the Bill possible as soon as May—with single-event sports betting live by the 2021 NFL season.
At this point, the only wagering permitted in Canada is lottery-based parlay betting, with only horse races allowing single-event wagering.
Bill C-218 is jointly backed by most political parties within the Canadian House of Commons: the draft has passed through each reading virtually untouched, with the only exception being the addition of an amendment to preserve Canada’s pari-mutuel betting system for horse racing.
Bill Sponsor Speaks
The original sponsor of C-2018, Conservative member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Grasswood Kevin Waug, expressed optimism for quick passage based on the “extraordinary amount of support that this bill received from all parties in the House of Commons” Waug further assured that “Canada’s Conservatives will continue to push forward common sense bills that create economic opportunities and help Canadians.”
Private Operator Spokesperson Speaks
Toronto-based iGaming company theScore CEO and Founder John Levy applauded the latest round of legislation as “a major step forward and we are increasingly encouraged by the widespread industry and strong cross-party support that Bill C-218 has garnered,” and “looked forward to the Senate swiftly carrying the ball over the goal line.”
Market Potential Size
C-218 is estimated capable of diverting some $14 billion per year that the Canadian Gaming Association estimates is going from Canada to offshore websites or to illegal bookmakers, with TheScore estimating legalized online gaming in Canada capable of netting between $3.8 and $5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue.
Hopefully, iGaming can create new economic opportunities for Canadian workers, businesses and employees as well.