Now that proposed federal legislation to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada has cleared another hurdle, BCLC is urging Ottawa to work collaboratively and take it over the finish line.
Today in the House of Commons, Private Member’s Bill C-218 to legalize single-event sports betting passed second reading and was referred to committee for consideration – a key stage, but one of many still required for the bill to become law.
“We’re calling on all Members of Parliament to work together collaboratively to legalize single-event betting for the benefit of our players and provinces,” Stewart Groumoutis, BCLC’s Director of eGaming. “Our players want single-event sports betting, and we are ready to provide this enhanced offering to them in a safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of B.C.”
Currently, B.C. players wanting to place single-event sports bets travel to casinos across the border such as Washington State, or place bets on unregulated off-shore gambling websites, neither of which provide jobs or revenue that benefit the Province of B.C. If single-event sports betting is legalized, BCLC can shift this play to B.C. casinos and PlayNow.com, where the health of players is prioritized and where revenue helps support provincial initiatives such as healthcare, education and community programs.
Online at PlayNow.com, the only regulated gambling website in B.C., legalized single-event betting would quickly create a new suite of sports-betting opportunities that players have been asking for. In the longer term, in land-based casinos and community gaming centres, BCLC would work with industry, regulator and government partners to introduce licensed sportsbooks in key markets. Additionally, BCLC would consider enhanced sports-betting offerings at hospitality locations across B.C. that sell lottery products, such as bars and pubs.
BCLC expects single-event sports betting would generate an estimated $125 to $175 million in additional revenue through online and land-based opportunities.
In fiscal year 2019/20, thanks to players, BCLC generated $1.3 billion in net income for the Province of B.C., which helps support education, community programs and healthcare.