We Can Have Marijuana, but Not Single-Event Sports Betting?

Canadians can walk into a casino from Halifax to Vancouver to gamble on several different games. You can go to St. John’s to play a video lottery with one hand and a beer in another. Someone in rural Ontario could even download an app from the provincial lottery to play with real money on virtual slot machines.

We have come a long way from the days of horse racing and lottery tickets. Even with the options that are available, one popular option still remains out of reach. Single-game sports betting is still off-limits, a sin that now the government suggests is worse than using marijuana.

Is 2020 the Year that Change Can Happen? 

Sports betting, as a category, is legal in Canada. The problem is a single line in the criminal code that prohibits individuals from wagering on a single event.

A bill passed the House in 2012 to eliminate this issue, but it stalled in the Senate. Then the effort died in 2015 when the election dissolved Parliament.

You can find numerous gaming options to enjoy through Casinomatcher when you want to enjoy the thrill of gambling. Now Kevin Waugh, a conservative MP from Saskatchewan, has a bill that can correct this issue again. It’s also supported by Brian Masse, who is an NDP MP based in Windsor.

The reason why there’s support for another is simple. Canadians can already place wagers through off-shore outfits.

Online Betting Companies Already Take Single-Event Wagers 

You can visit an online betting company like Bet365 or Bodog to place single-event sports betting wagers right now. These off-shore firms operate in places like Gibraltar and Malta, even though it isn’t technically legal.

Sports Interaction, which is outside Montreal in Mohawk Territory, brings the issue of single-event betting even closer to home.

The grey market for sports-betting is worth billions of dollars each year. Canadian authorities have little power to stop it. Imagine an arrest warrant from the RCMP trying to have an impact on an online operator in Antiqua, and you get an idea of the challenges involved.

Authorities could pursue individual bettors to stop this activity, but that means costly resources get taken away from other vital programs.

With the United States removing its prohibition because of similar issues, the pressure is now on the Canadian government to act.

How Much Money Could We Be Discussing? 

If we look to the south, the example set by New Jersey shows that the amount of money that could flow through online and in-person betting is massive. In less than two years of legality, the state has seen over $6 billion in betting value. That means the state has collected over $50 million in tax revenues specific to this singular activity.

Mobile wagering is a significant portion of those revenues, representing four-fifths of what gets collected.

Toronto-based theScore is one of the operators in New Jersey taking advantage of this legislation.

We have taken the ambition in our hands to make marijuana legal. Now let’s change our single-event sports betting laws.

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