Single-event sports betting could become reality in Canada

HeadsUp Entertainment to enter regulated sports betting in Canada

Single-event sports betting is again at the forefront in Canada, with the Canadian Gaming Association renewing calls to legalise the practise.

The Liberal candidate for the Ontario seat of Windsor West Sandra Pupatello initially raised the subject and vowed to do what her New Democratic Party rival Brian Masse could not, and have the criminal code changed to allow single-sports betting.

 “We need to change our laws to allow for single-sports betting in order to be more competitive and capture more of the revenue that is currently going offshore or to unregulated or illegal beneficiaries.,” Pupatello told the Edmonton Journal.

More: Gambling in Ontario

“The Canadian Gaming Association estimates this would add up to 150 jobs right here in Windsor, perhaps another 100 in Niagara Falls.”

Sitting Member for West Windsor Masse is accusing the Liberals of playing politics on the matter, after his own sports bill, which he described as ahead of the USA and having the support of all provinces and most major sports leagues, was shot down by the opposition at the sitting of the last Parliament.

Adding further weight to legalising sports betting in Canada, is the estimated $4 billion illegal sports betting industry, which thrives while the local online betting industry is estimated to be worth just $500 million. European and UK bookmakers profit significantly from the Canadian “grey zone” in the sports betting industry, while no tax money goes back into the Canadian economy.

Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns said the economic benefits alone were a reason to legalise sports betting.

“We are thrilled to have Ms Pupatello’s support and call on all parties to fight for the simple amendment that provinces requested 10 years ago that would benefit places like Windsor,” he said.

“This change would give provinces the tools to deliver a safe and legal option to Canadians while helping economic benefits, such as jobs, flow to communities and provincial governments.”

The betting sites licensed in Canada are severely handicapped by the laws, making it a no-brainer for punters to wager with offshore betting companies, where single-sports betting is allowed. Some simple changes to the gambling framework to allow sports betting, could create an estimated 1500 jobs across Canada, and give the Federal government as much as $1 billion in revenue every year in taxes.

Sports betting has been an off and on again topic for over 10 years in Canada, but there is finally some daylight on the horizon, with both sides of politics acknowledging change to the laws needs to happen. It’s unlikely that there will be any action on the matter before the Federal Election, due to take place on October 21.

What would happen if single-sports betting is legalised in Canada?

Basically it would open the floodgates for a regulated retail betting industry, which would likely expand to include an online betting arm. Canadians would then be free to bet on sporting events.

The Criminal Code in Canada would require further change to shut down the thriving illegal online betting industry, but single-sports betting would at least allow the Province-licensed betting sites in Canada to compete on an even playing field with the offshore online betting options.

It’s also possible in time, that the Canadian Government, like Australia did recently, will close the loopholes that allow offshore betting sites to market their services to people within their borders. In this case, it’s likely international online betting sites, will have to apply for a gambling license in Canada, before they could resume accepting bets from here.

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