Bill C-218: In What Ways Will the Act Influence the Gambling Market in Canada?


Canada has a long, complicated history regarding gambling. Centuries ago, all gambling in Canada was legal. But since the introduction of the Canadian Criminal Code in 1892, every form of gambling was made illegal.

But over time, particularly in the last century, the law around gambling has loosened up.

Relaxed gambling laws initially began with the Canadian police turning a blind eye to social gambling activities, despite it being illegal.

Over time, Canadian gambling legislation changed as the government realized the various benefits gambling brought to the country. Such as the promotion of responsible betting and the ability to oversee gambling companies’ operations to ensure gambling was fair.

In the 1900s, bingo games were permitted for charitable events. Two decades later, horse betting was also authorized.

Not long after, the lottery by select provincial charities and provincial governments was also permitted. Other casino classics such as poker, roulette, and slots were not explicitly named in the Criminal Act. Instead, they were interpreted in the same way as lottery schemes. And because the lottery became legal, casino games followed suit.

Online casinos

In the 1970s, multiple gambling establishments were built, and in 1985, gaming machines were also introduced. Later on into the early 2000’s, online casino were established and players began using the best online casino in Canada to play casino classics whenever and wherever they wanted.

The increased convenience of online gambling appealed to a broader audience beyond customers found exclusively at land-based sites.

However, despite the Canadian Criminal Codes’ numerous changes over the years, the act still specifies sports betting on a single event illegal. Even though Canadians can legally create multiple bets with one single wager.

At present, it’s illegal for online casino companies to operate in Canada. Still, players can gamble at offshore sites as long as those sites are registered legally.

Canada’s gambling code has become distorted over the years. Leading to uncertainty about what rules Canadians should and shouldn’t follow—and prompting discussions in the house of Parliaments about why single event sports betting’s should be allowed.

MP Kevin Waugh has proposed Bill C-218 to identify the Safe & Regulated Sports Betting Act, which aims to legalize single-event sports betting.

Bill C-218 Debated in Parliament in November 2020

The C-218 bill introduced by the federal government aims to decriminalize single-event sports betting in Canada. The act details the Safe & Regulated Sports Betting Act.

The act created by MP of Saskatoon-Grasswood, Kevin Waugh, was debated in the House of Commons in recent weeks. The proposal was partially in a bid to resolve the economic turmoil caused this year among Canadian communities.

The President of the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, supports the decision. He declares if the act is approved, it will stimulate the economy, create lots of new jobs, and create tax revenue to supplement cities across Canada.

Moreover, suppose the parliament permits the act. Single-event sports wagering will provide each province with the resources it needs to create legal and safe options for Canadians to make these bets.

Squash Organized Crime Associated with Sports Betting

 Another significant benefit of the act includes reducing the activity and risk of organized crime.

Organized crime surrounding gambling activities is a prominent issue in Canada and has been for years. Reports reveal illegal gambling operations are exploited and used to fund organized crime groups.

Moreover, other problems associated with underground gambling include perpetrators rigging sports events while also avoiding paying tax. In total, criminals reap 10 billion dollars a year from illegal gambling operations.

As such, there are multiple official figures and gaming founders who support the proposed bill. Its evident Canada’s federal laws surrounding sports betting are outdated and exclude gamblers’ opportunity to place single event bets legally and safely.

By permitting Bill C-218, the legislation will empower provincial policymakers to create rules surrounding single-event sports betting. Furthermore, giving the government the ability to implement safer sports betting activities.

The new act will also remove uncertainty around sports betting rules and abolish loopholes that exist in Canadas’ current Criminal Code legislation.

How the Bill C-218 Will Impact Canada?

With Bill C-218 in place, territorial and provincial governments can authorize and regulate single-event sports betting in their designated area. In turn, players will have the freedom to place single-event sports bets in land-based and online gambling companies.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, in May 2018, the American sports gaming sector grew by 65%, which is equal to $430 million.

If Canada permits single events sports betting, Canadian gambling revenue will unquestionably rise also.

In 2019, the US collected over $10 billion in tax from gambling, which was 1 billion more since PASPA was abolished—highlighting a significant tax increase. Canada will also have the opportunity to reap the rewards of legalized sports betting for single events.

Sports betting in Canada will be simple to understand with the new act in place and much safer for users to play.

Multiple provincial government candidates have expressed their support for single-event sports betting to be legalized. As such, with the wealth of benefits it brings the government and public, it’s only a matter of time before the act is permitted.