Canadian government backs Single-Event Betting

Business News

Canada is ending a decades-old prohibition on gambling that experts say has funnelled billions of dollars into the black market.

The proposed government legislation, will allow gamblers to place a bet on the outcome of a single sports game, like a football match or a hockey game.

Currently, sports bettors in Canada are limited to “parlay” bets meaning they have to place bets on more than one game, and pick the winning team in each contest, to see any sort of windfall. The odds of a winning parlay bet are low. Canadians spend roughly $500 million a year on parlay bets through lottery games like Pro-Line.

MPs from communities with large casinos notably Windsor and Niagara Falls in Ontario have been pushing the federal government to remove a single line in the Criminal Code that restricts gambling to parlays to give a boost to Canadian gambling operations, which face increasing pressure from foreign online outfits and U.S. casinos.

Paul Burns, the president of Canadian Gaming Association, said he’s happy that years of advocacy work by MPs and local communities finally pushed the government to stem the tide of wagered money moving offshore.

“It’s just been a horrendous year for our businesses,” Burns said, adding pandemic-related health and safety measures have devastated in-person gaming at casinos and racetracks.

“It doesn’t cost the federal government a thing but it gives us another product, another channel, to help us attract customers back to our businesses when it’s safe to do so.”