The Future For The Online Gambling Market in Canada
This week Private Members Bill C-218 to legalise single event sports betting in Canada received Royal Assent.
This seismic event paves the way for a dramatic change in the gambling industry in Canada with the opportunity for provincial government-run sites like PlayNow in British Colombia and the OLG in Ontario to add sports betting markets to their product portfolios, and, should they choose, each province to open up the market for private betting firms to be licensed to operate in the territory.
Before now punters in Canada could only bet on the outcome of individual games at sports by using offshore gambling sites. Bettors must use review sites like thecasinoheat.ca if they want to find out where they can play with safe operators who are licensed outside of Canada in jurisdictions like Malta or Gibraltar.
So to the future, and much like the situation in the United States, where legalisation of sports betting is happening state by state and with different rules and regulations in each one, so the same is expected for the provinces of Canada.
Bill C-218 broadly allows for single-game bets in Canada, allowing either the province, or a business or other entity licensed by the province to run a ‘lottery scheme’ in which single event bets are taken.
However, how this scheme is executed is down to each individual government.
It is widely expected that the private sector will play a big part of the gambling market, both online and offline in the next decade, with Ontario leading the way in making plans for a fully regulated and competitive market much like that being built south of the border.
Indeed, Ontario’s plans for a new iGaming market are intended to come to fruition in late 2021, and whilst the specifics are not yet clear, it is expected that they will include both sports betting and casino and other games provided by private companies.
A discussion paper published by the Ontario government in March 2021 suggests that revenue share agreements between private companies and a newly formed Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) would be the best way to move forward, with firms paying a share of all revenues generated through games and betting to the AGCO rather than through taxation.
With this model, and by leveraging existing game and platform testing and auditing required for alternative jurisdictions, it is believed that private companies could be up and running by the end of the year.
So in Ontario, the future is very much for the existing government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to exist alongside new betting firms operating in the province, with single event sports betting added to its OLG website as soon as it is legal to do so, maybe even by September.
British Columbia and the Other Provinces
Whilst Ontario has taken the lead with its discussion paper and moves to establish the groundwork for a new gambling market that will include casino and poker products from established betting firms, in other provinces the focus for now is solely on capitalising on the opportunities provided by the legalisation of sports betting.
In British Colombia the British Colombia Lottery Corporation plans to implement new betting markets on its PlayNow website as soon as they legally can, with in-person betting at land-based casinos expected to follow in the longer term.
The same is likely to happen in Alberta where the government-run PlayAlberta website is set to add betting markets later this year. Meanwhile, land-based venues may offer the opportunity for single event sports betting at a later date.
Canada has been a long time in catching up with the other regulated gambling markets in Europe and the States, but with the passing of Bill C-218 and now Royal Assent, the opportunity has arrived to provide bettors with safe and competitive products, whilst bringing much-needed revenues into the government that had previously been going to offshore firms. The new bill will also hasten the move towards a new framework for all types of online gambling in Canada in which private operators running casino games will also be able to take bets from punters there legally for the first time.
Source : europeangaming.eu