The legalization of single-game sports betting in Canada cleared another hurdle late last week, bringing hope that the bill to legalize it may pass before the end of the month.
On Friday the Senate’s Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce advanced the bill to legalize single-game sports betting, known as C-218, to the Senate’s full chamber. The bill passed through the committee without any amendments following discussions with representatives from provincial regulators, professional sports leagues, and responsible gambling organizations.
What is next step for Canada sports betting?
The next stop for the bill will be debate in the full Senate chamber sometime next week for third reading. If it passes through the Senate it will return to Parliament for re-approval before its final stop with the Governor General before becoming law. All of this must happen before the end of June if the Canadian Criminal Code is going to be changed to allow single-game sports betting.
If the bill does pass, regulation would fall to the provinces. Ontario, Canada’s most populated province, and the one the sports betting industry has their eye on most, already has their wheels in motion to be ready for when, and if, the bill passes. Ontario has already stated that it wants an open market that would allow sports betting industry mainstays like theScore and DraftKings to operate in Ontario.
David Phillips, the CEO of Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission has stated that if C-218 passes he expects single-game sports betting to launch in Ontario by the end of 2021.
According to reports, the British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC) has also already started working on single-sports betting framework. Representatives of BCLC have said that once legalized single-sports betting could launch almost immediately through the provincially-run PlayNow.com, which currently only offers parlay sports betting.
There was no information on if private operators would be allowed to service bettors in B.C. like they are expected to in Ontario.