Canada’s single-event sports betting bill enters final stage

The bill has the backing of various major sports leagues in the US as well as football leagues in Canada.
The bill has the backing of various major sports leagues in the US as well as football leagues in Canada.

The bill proposes amending Canada’s Criminal Code to permit sports betting on single sporting events.

Canada.- A bill which would legalise single-event sports betting in Canada has been introduced to parliament, entering the final stage to becoming federal legislation.

The proposed bill would amend Canada’s Criminal Code, which at present prohibits wagering on individual sports events. If passed, it’s expected to boost competitiveness in the industry and create up to 150 new jobs.

At present, sports betting is only legal in Canada if players place wagers on three or more games simultaneously.

The bill to change that was first introduced by Conservative member of parliament Kevin Waugh four years ago. It was reintroduced this week by the Minister of Justice after delays caused by the proroguing of parliament until September 23.

The Canadian Gaming Association said in a statement: “The CGA is pleased that the federal government has recognized the urgent need to amend the Criminal Code to offer safeguards to Canadians as well as an economic recovery tool for the provinces.

“We can’t emphasize enough how this small change to the Criminal Code will help communities recover from the economic devastation of the Covid-19 shutdown.”

The bill has the backing of various major sports leagues in the US, including the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

It has also been supported by Canadian football leagues, who had urged the government to place single-event sports betting high on its 2021 legislative agenda.