The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced a bill on Thursday that proposes to decriminalize single-event sports betting.
The bill, if passed, would amend paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code and permit provinces and territories to regulate and conduct single-event sports betting on any sporting event except horse racing.
The bill would maintain the federal government’s role concerning pari-mutuel systems of betting with respect to horse racing.
Liberal MP Chris Bittle from St. Catharines and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport says the change in legislation will keep gambling money out of the black market.
"Canadians have been able to bet on sports for a long time through parlays. However, instead of creating jobs and boosting our local tourism industry, single game sports betting has been a black market that has evaded taxes & directed funds to organized crime,” Bittle tweeted on Thursday.
"This is an opportunity for our industry to compete with border states and keep some of the $14 billion Canadians spend on black market sports betting here in Canada.”
Liberal MP Irek Kusmierczyk from Windsor-Tecumseh says this will help the industry keep up with their competitors across the border.
"The legalization of Single Sports Betting will help keep Caesars Windsor competitive – especially against American competition a stone’s throw away,” Kusmierczyk said in a statement. “It will help protect these vital jobs in our community, while at the same time introducing responsible gaming.”
Currently, sports betters in Canada are limited to Pro-Line style betting, where they must wager on two or more games at the same time, rather than the single outcome betting that takes place in Las Vegas and is becoming increasingly legal across the United States after the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in 2018.