Canada’s decision to legalize single event sports betting has been hailed as a historic victory by the movers and shakers of the nation’s gaming world.
Hitherto, under the country’s Criminal Code, punters have only been allowed to bet on so-called “multis” – three-or-more sporting events.
But now that anomaly has been corrected by the Safe and Regulated Betting Act, Bill C-218, which was approved by 57-20 votes in the Canadian parliamentary Senate this week.
The Private Member’s Bill, only lacking the formality of “royal assent” to pass into full law, was sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh.
“[This] is a victory for Canadian sport, sport fans, and businesses,” he said, emphasising: “It’s a win for Canadian taxpayers and workers.”
Major Canadian gambling players also piled on the congratulations and effusive praise for the breakthrough.
“This is a huge win for [punters],” said Lynda Cavanaugh, Interim President and CEO of big provincial lotto operator, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
“We’re excited to soon provide our players these new offerings on PlayNow.com,” she said.
John Levy, Chairman and CEO of media company theScore, added:
“The Senate’s passing of Bill C-218 is an historic moment for Canada. The passing of this important legislation allows [us] to collectively usher in a robust industry that will drive business, technology innovation, employment and economic growth, while providing a safe and trusted environment in which Canadians can wager on sports.”
Most of North America’s sports leagues have also voiced strong support for the new Canadian betting legislation.
And, unsurprisingly, several big time U.S. gaming operators, among them BetMGM and PointsBet, are now poised to grow their investments in the fertile Canadian market.