Sports betting in its fullest form could be coming to Canada very soon! We explore the who, what, where, when, why, and how this may be a possibility.
Sports betting in Canada has been a reserved underground operation, hiding from the public eye to generate revenue for enterprises. However, in recent months the topic of sports betting continues to ignite emotion and debate as it is slowly becoming main stream and legal.
It’s been known that leagues have often feared sports betting as a disruption to their operations. According to a Forbes article, “Professional and collegiate sports have historically feared one practice most heavily over anything else: gambling”. However, with a lack of legalized sports betting recent estimates indicate illegal single event bets generate $110 million (CDN) per year in Ontario alone, according to the Toronto Sun.
We May Legalize It!
Now, we’re the brink of legalized sports betting in Canada after being left in the dark corners of the world. Communities and cities are quickly realizing the tax benefits and other positive impacts sports gambling will have on the local economies.
In an article published by the Toronto Sun, Ontario is quickly working towards the legalization of single event sports betting. Currently, the only way to bet on sporting events is to execute parlay style betting, which is selecting a minimum of 3 events and getting those correct. This eliminates the ability to make single event bets on high profile games such as the Grey Cup.
Pressure from the United States
With increased pressure in the United States, allowing states to decide if they will allow single event sports betting, provinces such as Ontario are looking to capitalize on the opportunity. For casinos, this could be a new way to generate revenue and increase foot traffic. Also, in the horse industry, Woodbine in Toronto currently operates with slots to boost purse sizes but could benefit by adding sports betting to their menu of options.
Certainly this does not come without negative consequences for some. Cities where there are currently no locations to implement sports betting or a sports book would need to build the infrastructure to accommodate this new service. Also, for those that have existing structures would have to anticipate higher traffic and the potential for impact on property values.
Consider the Factors of Sports Betting in Canada
While this may seem long overdue, there are several factors under consideration when it comes to legalizing single-event sports betting in Canada. Commissioners from the CFL, NBA, MLS, and the NHL are all on board and support the idea of sports betting. Commissioner Randy Ambroise of the CFL is quoted as saying, “Canada must move forward to ensure Canadian industries remain competitive with their U.S. counterparts”.
Single game sports betting in Canada continues to gain momentum in the legalization process. With the support from leagues, fans and communities, it will only expedite the process and bring increased tax revenue. However, it must be done with community health in mind as to not negatively impact property values and disrupt current residence with increasing traffic to certain areas.
The decision to legalize is a decision that’s in the Federal government’s hands. It may not come until a Conservative government is elected federally. An election is coming up the fall so we’ll see if this becomes a hot button issue during the campaigns. Stay tuned.