The Canadian province of Alberta has given its go-ahead for single-event sports betting, joining British Columbia and private companies in asking the government to act.
Single-Event Sports Betting Closer to Realization
Alberta has issued an approval for legislative changes that would enable single-event sports betting in the country. The news has been confirmed by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) authority, which is the regulatory body for gambling in the province.
This is a huge step-up for Alberta and Canada as a whole as the country currently permits multiple-selection wagers. The limited option has prompted an exodus of sports bettors to offshore sportsbooks, which are operating unchecked in Canada and reportedly generate billions of revenue at the expense of the country’s tax office.
House Bill C-13 is the piece of legislation in the lead submitted to the Canadian House of Commons last year that proposes to change a part of the Criminal Code, making it legal to bet on single events in Canada.
Alberta is the second province in the state to issue an unequivocal endorsement of changing paragraph 207(4)(b) of the country’s Criminal Code. In fact, British Columbia and the Lottery Corporation have already said that Canada should seek to endorse single-event betting.
Heed Sports Leagues’ Calls
Canada has missed out on the NFL even though DraftKings, a fantasy and mainstream sportsbook, expanded its presence in the country just ahead of Super Bowl LV. DraftKings would also be keen to see single-event betting take off in Canada, as it would certainly prove a generator of strong revenue.
Other companies are also piling on with theScore advocating for the adoption of the format, backed by numerous sports leagues, in a letter sent to the Canadian government. AGLC chief executive Kandice Machando seems just as happy with the development. In a statement, Machando said:
“This would present the ability to give legal age Albertans new and unique options on their favourite sporting events.”
-AGLC chief executive Kandice Machando
He rightly noted that legalizing the format would lead to greater flexibility and a richer selection of options for sports fans looking to place a wager, including point spreads, props, and single events to name a few.
Curb the Offshore Sector and Protect Consumers
AGLC COO Niaz Nejad joined her colleague in explaining that clawing back some of the offshore traffic back home would help with protecting consumers who are using illegitimate platforms to play, rather than the province’s regulated website, PlayAberta.ca.
There are no protective measures at those offshore websites, Nejad said, and as such responsible play options are completely off the table. Meanwhile, other provinces are taking aim at online casino gaming, another popular segment that is not readily available at home.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are both pushing ahead with a proposed launch of dedicated casino sites in their provinces.