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Canada Moves Closer To Offering Single Sports Betting

by ReadyBetGo Editor

Debated for years, it would appear that Canada is finally ready to seriously consider legalizing single sports betting across the country.

The Canadian Federal Liberal government introduced legislationReadyBetGo EditorThere are occasions when we here at ReadyBetGo want to bring you interesting facts about the gambling industry  When something catches our eye, we will publish it for your enjoyment. 
  earlier this month that will begin the process toward what for the first time appears to be a realistic path toward the legalization of single sports betting in the country.

If all goes according to plan, Canadians will soon have the same wagering opportunities that have been available for decades in Las Vegas sports betting, all handled in a regulated environment and offered through both in-person retail sportsbooks, as well as online and via mobile devices.

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti introduced the legislation to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada on Nov 26. It was given second reading in the House of Commons in early December. It is currently being studied at the Committee Stage.

That will be followed by the Report Stage, when the Committee returns the bill to the House and it is debated by all Parliamentarians. At this stage of the process, any changes to the bill can be proposed.

Next up would be third reading in the House. Should the bill pass through this phase, it goes to the Senate to begin the same process of stages. Once the Senate and House of Commons have both passed the bill, the final step is for it to be granted Royal Assent by the Governor-General. At that point, it would become a law.

The setup of the proposed legislation appears quite similar to the way sports betting has been legalized in the USA since 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down previous prohibitions against widespread sports wagering in the country.

Just as in the USA, each Canadian province will be given jurisdiction over betting within its boundaries. That will include determining how the profits from sports betting will be used by each government.

How Sports Betting Currently Works In Canada

Canada currently offers legal and regulated casino gambling, lotteries, bingo and betting on horse racing. When it comes to other sports, they offer a form of wagering that is similar to playing a parlay and is operated by provincial lottery corporations.

Pro Line and Sport Select are the common names for this style of betting.

With this system, bettors must choose a minimum of three games on their parlay card. They pick either a win by the home team, a win by the away team, or a draw. Every game must be correct for the bet to be a winner.

When it comes to wagering on football, the odds skew even further in favor of the house. Bettors must win a football wager by a minimum of four points in order to cash their ticket. That point spread is implemented whether they bet on the favorite or the underdog.

Odds Favor Single Sports Betting Being Approved

Twice previously, single sports betting bills have been brought forth in Canadian Parliament. However, both were Private Member’s bills, meaning that they were introduced by Members of Parliament from the party that wasn’t in power at the time. Those types of bills rarely succeed in becoming law.

That this bill was introduced by the governing party makes it likely to pass into law. Even though the ruling Liberal party currently sits as a minority government, both the Conservatives, the official opposition party, and the NDP have stated support for single sports betting in the past and are unlikely to challenge its passing.

"Implementing this change would be a massive boost to the tourism, sports, and gaming sectors, as well as a significant win for the workers and communities that rely on them," Conservative MP Kevin Waugh told the CBC.

Waugh currently has a Private Member’s bill in the system also asking for the legalization of single sports betting. NDP MP Brian Masse previously introduced a single sports betting bill in 2016.

"Getting the government to table its own legislation provides a better path for procedure and prioritization including in the senate, but those things still have to get done and that takes hard work," Masse admitted to CKLW.

The four commissioners of the major North American sports - Gary Bettman (NHL), Roger Goodell (NFL), Adam Silver (NBA) and Rob Manfred (MLB) - sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicating their support for the legalization of sports betting.

“Canadians deserve a modernized and regulated sports betting market.” John Levy, founder of the Toronto-based theScore Bet, told Bloomberg News.

Levy currently operates legal sportsbooks in the USA.

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