A landmark decision in Canada for the passage of Bill C-218 in the Senate will usher in a new era of single sports betting in the country.
Having been voted in by 57-20 with five abstentions, the bill could lead the way for the first legal wagers to be placed this year.
Off the back of the decision, Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) President and CEO Paul Burns said: “This is a major milestone and achievement for the Canadian gaming industry. The CGA has been working to legalise single-event sports betting for more than 10 years and Bill C-218 benefited from a groundswell of broad stakeholder support from across Canada.
“The need for regulation, oversight, player protection, and the creation of economic benefits for Canada was understood by everyone involved in the legislative process, which is why the Bill was successfully passed.”
In its statement, the CGA also highlighted the contribution of the many government leaders, individuals and organisations that led to the successful passage of Bill C-218.
It wrote: “In particular, the CGA would like to thank Kevin Waugh, MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood, the Bill’s sponsor in the House, and Senator David Wells, the Bill’s sponsor in the Senate, as well as Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West, who has been a long-time advocate.
“The CGA would also like to recognise the late Gord Brown, MP from Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes who, prior to his sudden death, was a tireless champion of single-event sports betting.”
Yesterday’s landmark development was also lauded by Score Media and Gaming Inc Chairman and CEO, John Levy. He stated: “The Senate’s passing of Bill C-218 earlier today is an historic moment for Canada as it will legalise single event sports betting. We thank MP Kevin Waugh and Senators David Wells and Brent Cotter for championing this Bill, which garnered strong all-party support through both the House of Commons and Senate.
“The passing of this important legislation allows theScore, along with our fellow stakeholders, 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.
“The forthcoming legalisation of single event sports betting presents a substantial growth opportunity for our integrated media and betting business. We have been actively preparing for the expansion of online sports betting and igaming in our home province of Ontario, which is expected to commence later this year, and we are very favorably positioned to succeed given our mobile betting experience and vast active user base. Further, we are excited to broaden our relationship with the millions of loyal fans who already know, trust and engage with theScore app across Canada.”
Speaking at the recent SBC North America Digital conference, Stan Cho, MPP for Willowdale and executive for Ontario’s Ministry of Finance, a policy stakeholder of Ontario’s planned igaming regime, emphasised the significance of this summer as the country prepares for change.
She stated: “We are watching C-218 senate developments very closely, as sports betting will be an essential component to Ontario’s market offering.
“The bill will change federal codes to legalise single sports betting, but more importantly it will help Ontario capture that gray market activity – sports betting is a crucial offering for any legal gambling regime.”