Fate of Canada Sports Betting to Be Decided on Thursday

On Thursday a hearing will be held in Canada to decide the fate of spots betting. Law makers will decide whether or not to move forward on a bill that aims to legalize single event sports betting.

canada legal sports betting

Should Bill C-218 be passed, single event sports betting would be legalized at national level, leaving it up to individual province to decide if they want allow their residents legal access to the sportsbooks.

The Current Situation

Under current Canadian law, sports betting is illegal in Canada, however there is a loophole in the law that allows residents access to overseas betting sites. At present, the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits any form of betting on sporting events to be offered within Canadian borders. The proposed Bill C-218 would make an amendment to the criminal code that could legalize land-based retail sports books on a provincial basis. Therefore the ultimate decision would lie with province governments.

Canada Follow the US Model

The US made a similar move back in 2018, when they repealed PASPA, which then allowed legalized sports betting on a state by state basis. To date, 25 states have legalized some form of sports betting with at least 10 more have the issue on the table at various stages. Unlike in Canada, though, accessing overseas sports betting sites from within the US is strictly prohibited and viewed as black market activity.

In the meeting on 25 March (Thursday) The House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights will hold a vote on Bill C-218. If the bill gets a majority vote, it will then need to be approved by the Governor-General for Royal Assent before it can be officially written into law.

Not the First Time Canada Has Tried to Legalize Betting

This isn’t the first time that the Great White North has tried to legalize sports betting – far form it, in fact. Over the past decade, tere have been numerous attempts to green light some form of legal sports betting industry, with the majority of them falling flat. There is more optimism this time surrounding Bill C-218, as it has some big name backers. Additionally, some of the sceptics have been persuaded by the money potential, as an estimated $125- $175 million could be clawed from overseas and illegal betting markets into the Canadian economy.

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