The topic of sports betting in Canada will likely be decided on Thursday, and there is optimism that good news is coming. There has been plenty of debate on the subject of sports betting over the last few years, but an official vote is expected to take place this week.
A meeting was held on March 9 to discuss amending the Criminal Code, and this change would allow for single-game sports wagering. A third reading in the Parliament will now take place, and an official vote will be held.
If the amendment to the Criminal Code passes, it would then be pushed to the Governor-General for Royal Assent, and the bill could then be signed into law. The topic of legalizing sports betting has been slow-moving for a few years, but things have started to progress in a hurry.
This has been a process that has taken more than 10 years, but the Criminal Code has remained unchanged. Lawmakers in Canada have gained more support and traction over the past 12 months, and it appears that it is time for a change.
Two Sets of Witnesses
At the hearing on March 9, two different blocks contained testimonies from key witnesses. Industry leaders and large organizations were invited to participate in the hearing, and one common theme stood out: a change is needed.
A popular argument was that illegal sports betting is already taking place in Canada, decriminalizing the act. A similar argument was used when provinces in Canada were looking to legalize marijuana use.
Other witnesses pointed out the fact that Canada is losing out on revenue as some sports bettors are simply crossing the border to bet on sports. The United States has seen massive growth in sports betting since 2018, and Canadian residents have played a role.
Horse Racing An Interesting Topic
The horse racing industry is a proponent of legalizing single-game sports betting, but only if specific conditions are met. One current bill would allow for single-game betting on horse racing, and the industry wants that removed from the discussion.
Legalizing historic horse racing is another topic that has gained traction, and that is a move supported by the horse racing industry. Several of the witnesses commented on horse racing, but all were still in favor of legalized sports betting.
Plenty of Support
Despite a potentially damaging impact on the horse racing industry, most of the top leaders in Canada are behind sports betting legislation. Canada has seen how important sports betting has become in the United States, and this new industry could bring in plenty of revenue for the country.
Professional sports leagues in the United States have also pledged their support for single-game sports betting in Canada. Professional baseball, basketball, and hockey are all played in Canada, and there would be a strong betting market.