Canadian bettors rejoice, ’cause single game wagering is coming to Canada.
It’s Bill C-290, a bill that will legalize single game betting. Currently, it is illegal to bet on a single game in Canada. This means you cannot bet on the outcome of – for example, the Leafs to beat the Canadiens, on either Pro-Line, at the casino, or anywhere in Canada for that matter.
It’s not official yet, but if the bill passes the Senate, the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation) will be looking to get in on the action. Currently, on Pro-Line, you must bet on at least 3 games to win. This puts an unfair advantage on Pro-Line’s side, making them huge cash cows for the government. However, with gamblers turning to online sportsbooks that are located out of the country, the Canadian government is losing billions of tax revenue and the amounts are increasing exponentially. It’s estimated (by the guy that is bad at estimating) that $10 – 80 billion dollars are spent by Canadians online. In the US the White House has made it illegal to bet online, prosecuting any company that defies its laws. Using a less hardline tactic, the Canadian government has decided that if you can’t beat ’em, then just join ’em.
OLG president Rod Phillips is looking forward to an early Christmas this year stating, “Although there are still important details to work out, this would represent good news particularly for our casinos along the border.” The OLG has noticed that their revenue has dipped due to the flock of gamblers heading online rather than to the local OLG retailer. They are considering the development of online casinos and sports betting sites to compete with offshore books.
So what does all this mean? The government would benefit the most from this bill because they would divert money that would normally go to offshore bookies and keep it in Canada and regain their lost tax revenue. Canadian bettors would be able to bet without the disadvantages that are built into Pro-Line. The OLG will most likely be pushing forward with their plans to introduce on-line betting sites that Canadians can use. Since betting isn’t about to go away anytime soon, this seems to be a win-win situation for all.