Canadian Leagues Pushing For Legal Sports Betting

By Ben Hamill - June 17 2020

Canadian Leagues Pushing For Legal Sports Betting

Legalised single-event sports betting in Canada is a conversation that’s in recent years seen its fair share of ups and downs. But it’s also a conversation that’s gained increased traction ever since the ban on professional and amateur sports betting was finally abolished by the US Supreme Court in 2018.

The latest development is as promising a motion as what an argument in favour of a legalised sports betting market is going to get, with a coalition made up of Canada’s largest pro sports leagues having now actively started to push the conversation to the extent of it no longer being in any way easily swept under the legislative ‘all in good time’ carpet.

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Accumulator Bets Not Enough

According to a recent Friday report ran by a prominent North American online sports and gaming forum, Canada’s biggest sports leagues have updated their public statuses as being, along with the Canadian Gaming Association, in active support of updated federal legislation permitting bets wagered on single-game sports events. Leagues to have joined the nation-wide effort are the National Hockey League (NHL), the Canadian Football League (CFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and Major League Soccer (MLS).

Current sports betting legislation allows only accumulator bets to be wagered – i.e. bets that consist of at least three games combined. An accumulator bet basically combines three or more selections into a solitary wager that only yields a positive return in the event that all three legs of the bet win. Accumulator bets are regarded high-risk by sports bettors. A good example would be to consider a typical accumulator bet wagered in horse racing. Three horses running in three different races are combined into a single bet. Each of the three horses would need to win before the accumulator bet returns a profit. Even a single race lost loses the entire bet.

More Support Than Ever Before

The big issue with the country’s criminal code in its current form is that it (albeit unintentionally) stimulates the illegal sports betting market by an estimated $10.25 billion annually. Not only are bettors at the complete mercy of black-market bookies, but millions in potential taxes are forfeited in the process.

This is the argument recently put forward by Canadian member of parliament Kevin Waugh in a ramped-up effort to change the country’s current criminal code so as to make provision for single-game bets wagered in a liberated, protected and taxable sports betting market. And with the right kind of backing from all major Canadian sports leagues, perhaps 2020 will take a turn for the better after all.

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