Under current Canadian gambling laws only parlay-style sports betting is legal in the country. Majority of punters is hard-lined against a ban on single sporting events wagering. However, fresh rumors suggest that situation could change quite soon, bringing much needed extra profits to the wagering industry.
Sports betting business in Canada is estimated around CDN$10 billion, yet much of it is generated through illegal means. Only CDN$450 goes through legal and regulated land-based and online sportsbooks in Canada. The absence of single event betting is the primary reason for high volume of illegal activity.
The proposed change could come through an amendment put forward by Joe Comartin, MP for Windsor Tecumseh. The change of legislation will amend the Criminal Code, lifting any kind of punishment for singe event sports betting.
Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, told Canada gambling news: “The reality is that Canadians are wagering on sports predominantly through illegal means, either with bookies or online. This bill will enable sports wagering to occur in safe, regulated environments.”
He continued: “The opportunity to offer a true sports book experience in casinos like Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls or Caesars Windsor cannot be overlooked. It will provide tremendous tourist opportunities to those communities, and also ensure that our industry and our provincial governments benefit from any wagers made in Canada.”
Recent review of the annual reports by the Criminal Intelligence Services Canada (CISC) reveals that underground bookmaking is flourishing in all regions of Canada. Organized crime groups control most of the illegal wagering and they are the ones profiting from the activities instead of the government.
During the last 10 years, online sports betting industry grew considerably. Currently Canadians are estimated to wager over CDN$2 billion via foreign-based online sportsbooks. And only a fraction of that market is wagered at some provincial online sportsbooks, allowed by individual provinces regulations.