Legal Sports Betting in Canada Gains Momentum with the Passage of Bill C-218's Second ReadingPublished March 4, 2021 by Lee R
Social benefits and player protection are viewed as realistic in Canada's latest sports betting proposal.
Canada's regulation process has moved forward with the passage of a second reading in Parliament.
Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act Bill C-218 passed with flying colours by a vote of 303 in favour and 15 against.
Bill C-218 now moves to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for its final phase of Parliamentary hearings. The bill will have to pass through the senate and then Governor-General for Royal Assent in order to bring regulation into Canada.
The bill gathered momentum in the second Parliamentary reading when several members parliamentarians recognised the potential social impact of C-218:
Bill sponsor Kevin Waugh explained that passing Bill C-218 would ensure that profits “from sports wagering are put back into our communities, into health care, education, problem gambling programs, youth sports and other important services rather than the pockets of offshore companies or even criminals.”
More stakeholders and operators have echoed Mr. Waugh's beliefs, including a prominent and innovative e-sports betting operator.
Luckbox CEO calle the overwhelming result an indication of “cross-party support for an amendment to...an outdated law and very welcome for organisations like ours which offer safe, responsible and enjoyable wagering on events.”
Support from eGaming
British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s director of eGaming Stewart Groumoutis called on all Members of Parliament “to work together collaboratively to legalize single-event betting for the benefit of our players and provinces.”
Chief executive of digital media company theScore John Levy called the legalisation of individualised sports betting in Canada “a significant step forward in the process to amend an outdated law.”
Re-introduced in November, C-2018 would repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code--currently allowing sports betting only legal if players place simultaneous bets on a minimum of three games.
Other politicians cited specific benefits including increased job security and increased employment; improved transparency; more effective sports betting regulation; and proving the government with additional resources to help vulnerable people struggling with addiction.
The estimated market potential of between US$3.8 billion and US$5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue (GGR) certainly represents enough liquidity to benefit operators, social programming, and government tax and licensing funds alike.