Weird Canadian Sports Betting Provision Being Removed
When it comes to any discussion of the legalities of online gambling, you’re always in for a mess. No matter where you’re located, there are tons of laws, bylaws and other complications. You have to deal with clashes between federal and state or provincial governments as well. That’s not even considering laws that were written way before the Internet even existed.
One weird law is very close to being removed in Canada. It’s a ban on being able to make sports bets on individual events.
We have to admit that this is one of the strangest laws we’ve ever come across with online gambling overall. Something that makes it so weird is that we can’t really think of a reason for it to exist. The utility of such a ban is not clear, even if you use quite a bit of your imagination.
The Specifics of the Provision
We should be very clear and very specific about the provision we’re addressing here. On a national level, punters are not allowed to place sports bets on an individual event. Technically, they can’t place bets on a parlay of two events either. Instead, as the law is written currently, the only sports bets allowed are parlays on three or more events.
That means you have to wager on the outcomes of at least three events in a single wager.
This is the provision that has been addressed with Bill C-218. It removes this provision and allows for bets on both single events and two event parlays. While this should have been removed a long time ago, we’ll take what we can get at this point.
Something that’s absolutely mind-boggling about this situation is the support it has gotten. The House of Commons voted to remove it at a clip of 303-15 on the first vote. That’s almost unanimous, which is strange considering it’s taken so long to receive a vote. For such a ridiculous law, you’d think that it would be addressed much earlier if so many politicians were in favor of removing it.
Politics are strange indeed. However, we’re glad that it’s finally looking like it’ll be changed. For the time being, it has to go through the rest of the process to be made into law. This includes hearings with the Justice Committee and going through the senate. It also means going to the Governor-General for Royal Assent. Once it gets through all of that, which it looks like it easily will, then the weird ban will finally be gone.
What Happens Next?
We really aren’t sure if anything too weird or unexpected will happen from here. This is really Canada’s only particularly strange law for online gambling that happens on a national level. It’s something that industry professionals (ourselves included) have complained about for a long time. We’ve complained because it simply didn’t make any sense.
With that said, it’s looking like it’ll be over now. As a result, punters will be openly able to wager how they want to without those strange restrictions. It probably would have been better for the industry if it happened before the Super Bowl, the American football championship game that’s the largest individual sporting event in North America, but late is better than never.
Operators and players will both be excited about this change. When that happens, when you really have a win-win situation, that’s the sort of thing that builds the industry. Taking away an awkward law that doesn’t really serve any purpose except to make things most frustrating is one way to do that.