Single-Event Sports Betting in Canada Gets Major Leagues’ Support

Single-event sports betting in Canada may have gotten the crucial nudge because the coalition of biggest North American sports leagues have decided to stand behind this concept.

Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Canadian Football League (CFL) have published a joint statement expressing their support.

Necessary Legal Framework

In the statement, it is said that

“Sports betting gives fans another exciting way to engage with the sports they love. Because a legal and regulated sports betting market in Canada would be beneficial to sports and their fans, we urge prompt action to make this a reality.”

It added that sports betting is already happening, albeit illegally, in Canada and that making a legal framework can shift consumers from the illegal, unregulated market to a legal and safe marketplace. “Regulating single-game betting would allow for strong consumer protections as well as safeguards to further protect the integrity of sports.”, the statement reads.

Adam Silver, NBA commissioner, Gary Battman of NHL, Don Garber of MSL, Rob Manfred of MLB and Randy Ambroise of CFL have signed the letter.

Will the Amendment Happen?

Paragraph 207(4)(b) under Canada’s Criminal Code allows bets on three or more games…

…which makes a single bet on a game illegal. Kevin Waugh, Conservative Member of the Parliament, says that about $14 billion is wagered in this country illegally each year.

He is behind the initiative to change this paragraph with C-218, Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which had its first reading in the House of Commons in February of this year.

It repeals paragraph 207(4)(b) to allow single-event betting and represents the third attempt involving New Democratic Party MP Brian Masse to change the sports betting law in this country.

Provincial Changes

Masse has supported the Waugh’s bill introduction…

…and has filed a similar bill himself in Parliament’s two different sittings.

Further changes to Canada’s gambling legislation are incoming, though on a provincial level. Ontario is preparing to implement a new regulatory framework to open up the province to private operators for the first time, something Ron Segev of Segev LLP examined in detail for iGB North America earlier this week.


“Major leagues throw weight behind Canadian betting push”,, June 12, 2020.

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