BCLC, theScore, and Major Leagues back the Canadian single-event betting push
- Canada push for single-betting backed by BCLC, major leagues, and theScore
- Canada’s Criminal Code only permits bets with at least three selections
- MP Kevin Waugh aims to repeal the code through his C-218 bill to allow for single-event betting
- MP Brian Masse seconds the bill and has also previously filed similar legislations
- BCLC signs an agreement with Scientific Games for managed trading services for digital sports betting
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), media business theScore, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Canada Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Hockey League (NHL), have all thrown their support for single-event sports betting push in Canada.
As it stands, Canada’s Criminal Code, under paragraph 207(4)(b) only allows bets with over three selections, therefore, rendering single bets illegal.
C-218 bill forwarded
However, this looks to change thanks to the C-218 bill, also referred to as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, introduced by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh. The bill aims to repeal the existing paragraph 207(4)(b) to allow for single-event betting. The first reading of the bill was in February in the House of Commons.
This is the third attempt involving Brian Masse, a Democratic Party member of parliament, to change the sports betting laws in Canada. Masse has in previous occasions filed similar legislation in two different parliament sittings. He also seconded the introduction of Kevin Waugh’s bill.
Strong support from sports leagues and operators
Expressing their support, BCLC stated when legalised, BC players would now make ‘single-event sports bets in a secure, regulated environment.’
John Levy, theScore founder and chief executive, who previously backed the legalisation of online gambling proposal by Ontario’s provincial government, has also thrown his support to the latest bill.
He expressed his will to see Canadian sports fans provided with a ‘safe, regulated, and competitive sports betting environment.’ He went ahead to state that sports betting was highly regarded by fans in Canada and that this was happening through the ‘unlicensed grey markets with offshore operators.’
Just recently, a joint statement of the major North American sports leagues also voiced their support to the legalisation of single-event sports betting. In the statement, they stated that sports betting gave fans an ‘exciting way to engage with the sports they love’ and called for prompt action on the bill since having a ‘legal and regulated market would be beneficial to sports and the fans.’
The statement went ahead to claim that illegal sports betting was already happening in Canada and that having a legal framework in place would help shift the players from ‘illicit, unregulated markets to a legal and safe marketplace.’ The letter was signed by CFL’s Randy Ambrosie, MLB’s Rob Manfred, Don Garber of MLS, NBA’s Adam Silver, and NHL’s Gary Bettman.
The CGA added that the legalisation of single-event betting would see additional revenue in the state and sports as the country tries to recover from the effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BCLC agreement with Scientific Games
Meanwhile, BCLC has awarded a multi-year contract to Scientific Games for managed trading services and digital sports betting. This agreement saw Scientific Games launch its OpenTrade risk and liability management service on the PlayNow.com operated by BCLC.
The agreement will see BCLC given access to ‘proprietary feeds services, pre-match, and in-play pricing.’ This means that BCLC will have the ability to offer betting on over 300,000 events and in-play wagering on over 200,000 events in a year.