Analysis

BC Lottery throws its weight behind Canada betting bill

BCLC support for change in betting regulation is a major boost for the Canadian industry.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has declared its support for the legalization of single-event sports betting in the country.

BCLC is one of the major provincial lottery operators in the country alongside the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Both hold significant sway when it comes to regulating new betting and gaming products.

Should they pass, betting regulations would apply solely on a provincial basis. Québec so far has not shown much enthusiasm for the prospect, but this could change if Ontario and British Columbia build up enough momentum among the other provinces.

Parlays into singles

Currently, players can only place parlay bets on three games or more. The new bill introduced in Canada’s House of Commons in November would change the wording of the current text and make it lawful for bets to be placed on single-sports events.

Two bills, C-218 and C-13, have been put forward in Canada’s House of Commons that would both modify the text on parlay bets.

Industry interests in the country such as the Canadian Gaming Association and online sports media group and bookmaker theScore have already declared their support for the project.

In common with U.S. states such as Massachusetts that are adjacent to jurisdictions that have regulated sports betting, politicians and industry executives in British Columbia point out that many residents already play online with offshore sportsbooks or drive across the border to place their bets.

Broad consensus

BCLC director of eGaming Stewart Groumoutis commented: “Our players have wanted single-event sports betting for a long time. For example, this weekend is the Super Bowl and our players want to be able to simply bet on the winner, which they are unable to do under the current legislation.

“We’re encouraging the federal government to modernize laws so we can provide single-event betting to our players and generate additional revenue to support provincial programs.”

BCLC said single-event sports betting would generate between CAN$125m and CAN$175m in additional revenue through online and land-based operations.

Aside from gambling operators, a number of major sports leagues have also voiced their support for single-event sports betting in Canada.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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