Ottawa at the center of the iGaming changes coming to Canada

By Rick Anderson

As years go by, it’s getting clearer that there’s significant change coming to Canada and Ottawa as its capital is at the heart of it. Ottawa has not only the power to boost its gaming industry but also jumpstart the exponential growth of legal betting sites across Canada.

The federal government of Canada recently introduced Bill C-13, which decriminalizes single-event sports betting in the country. The Ontario government then expanded the bill to include legalization of modernized online marketing for iGaming within the province.

This bill can only impact the Canadian gaming landscape if Ottawa and other provinces agree to pass it. While the bill has received broad support, the professional sports leagues and the gaming industry alone cannot make it a reality.

It’s the fourth attempt to legalize single-event sports wagering in Ottawa and many other provinces in Canada. Ottawa players hope that this is the last so they can stop wagering on unregulated offshore sites.

Since the legislative process is the most important, it seems that every Ottawa player out there has their fingers crossed.

The Current Framework

iGaming laws in Canada apply at federal and provincial levels of government. The Criminal Code defines what is legal and illegal at the federal level. The federal government prohibits almost all gambling activities with a few exceptions. Provincially managed gaming is the only form of gambling the federal government considers legal.

Even though the Code does not outline separate provisions for iGaming, an entirely digital offering is legal if it meets the definition of legal gaming as spelled out in the Code. Operators at the provincial level are free to conduct and regulate this offering in-person or digitally.

Ottawa and other provinces have digital gaming platforms in one form or the other. Most of them operate under lottery corporations rather than licensed third-party operators. Each province has a unique selection of available play offerings depending on what the provincial government has legalised.

Despite the existence of these options, a large percentage of Canadian players would lather create an online betting profile with offshore sites.

Why BCLC called on Ottawa to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada

Canadians might be able to make and be part of single-event sports bets if Ottawa heeds to British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s urge to pass Bill C-13. Making single-event sports bets legal would be a huge step for the Canadian population that enjoys the thrill of playing free slots and other iGaming options.

At the moment, British Columbia players can only enjoy single-event sports betting if they cross the border to Washington State. Even though unregulated offshore online casino sites give BC players access to this iGaming variation, it would be nice if they didn’t have to look so far to access iGaming entertainment.

BCLC believes that the legalization of single-sports betting would shift traffic to British Columbia casinos as Canadian players would opt for home-based sites rather than unregulated offshore sites. Such revenue would go a long way in ensuring that BC residents have access to reliable healthcare and quality learning institutions. Community programs within the province need such funds to provide as much value as possible to members as well.

BCLC is the only corporation that owns and runs a regulated gambling site in BC. The corporation is pushing for the legalization of single-event sports betting so that operators within Ottawa and other Canadian provinces can open more legal gambling sites. A site that’s operating under the radar would not fetch as much revenue as if it were legal to own and run such a site in the respective province.

Wrapping Up

Players across Canada would love the opportunity to bet on the winner during the Super Bowl and other major sports events. If Ottawa and other provinces agree to modernize the iGaming laws, this fourth attempt to legalize single-event sports betting might just be a success. Passing Bill C-13 will not only give Canadian citizens access to iGaming entertainment but also help provinces generate funds for important provincial programs.

(Photo: Pixabay)