Sports Betting in Canada
The liberal party, and Justin Trudeau, made it known in early 2016 that they were against single-game sports betting being legalized. The active speakers pushing the bill argued that it would minimize illegal betting while also helping the economy by employing more people.
Throughout the history of gambling in Canada, the industry has been muzzled and restrained in countless ways, and only with the introduction of the Canadian Criminal Code in 1892 did toleration for gambling emerge. Still, it wasn’t until 1910 that pari-mutuel betting was integrated into horse racing, which stated that a portion of the winnings were divided among the racetrack, the jockeys, and the provincial government. As well as pari-mutuel betting, the change to the code permitted the use of lotteries by the provincial governments for the purpose of charities and similar functions. Other sports in Canada still did not benefit much from this change.
Sixty years later, the provincial governments were given almost completely free reign with regards to the regulation of gambling, though outlying scenarios do still remain to this very day.
A Profitable Industry
The very first public casino was built in Winnipeg almost twenty years after the changes that gave the provincial governments greater control, and four years after that another popped up in Montreal. More and more provinces followed suit, and now casinos are fairly commonplace in the British Columbia country.
Online casinos are now quite common, with the likes of BGO expanding the casino scene. If you read this comprehensive review you’ll get an idea of just how much online casinos are adding to gambling opportunities in Canada.
Some provincial governments have implemented digital lottery machines in places around their provinces, and these slot machines have proved massively profitable, producing millions for said governments each year.
In 2015, the gambling industry is estimated to have produced more than $6 billion dollars of revenue, a massive rise and a hopeful trend for the Canadian government should it be willing to take advantage of the opportunities presented.
Currently, there are nine provinces that are home to a multitude of casinos, that each were in favor of single-game betting being legalized. Still Trudeau and the the Liberal party were opposed, some vocalizing that they stood on the precedent of the MLB’s similar stance on gambling.
Yet earlier last month, the commissioner of the MLB declared that they would be taking another look at the possibility. The controversy with regards to legal gambling in the MLB has stretched back longer than the tumult in the current Canadian government regarding single-game better, so a turnover there would be big news for the Canadian gambling industry.
While the fate of single-game betting in Canada does currently hang in the balance, online gambling sites and casinos are flourishing, since the online betting scene lies in a sort of legal gray area due to the legal system being unable to believably call online betting sites “illegal betting houses” as they not, indeed, houses.