Last year, the United States Supreme Court struck down a decades old law preventing the majority of US states (outside of Nevada) from offering legalized sports betting. The landmark decision opened the flood gates, allowing individual states to begin offering a wide range of gambling activities to their local residents. This includes both online and offline sports betting options, online and offline casino gaming and more. However, the knock on effect of the legalization of online sports betting and casino gambling in the US is threatening the Canadian gaming business, where single game wagering is still not permitted. Recent events in the US has given many Canadian sports betting fan and would-be online gambler hope that the landmark rulings could eventually have a positive effect on what many see as Canada’s outdated gambling laws.
How SCOTUS Ruling Effects Individual US States
The United States Supreme Court virtually unanimously ruled in favor of overturning the PASPA law, otherwise known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, paving the way for individual US states to decide what gambling to offer and how. Each state can now autonomously decide their degree of sports wagering and/or casino gambling. This includes sports betting on single events as well as parlays in NFL American football, NBA and college basketball, NHL ice hockey, Major League Baseball, local and international soccer, and much more.
The State of New Jersey, who successfully won their case against major national sports organizations including the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL and MLB, is leading the way in state-wide sports wagering. Other states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, West Virginia, and Mississippi are hot on their heels, and each is hard at work figuring out their own logistics as far as both online and offline sports betting and casino gaming is concerned.
How Canada Could Risk Losing Out on Huge Gambling Revenues
With significant advances in legalized online sports betting and casino gaming happening south of their border, many sports betting experts and gamblers are concerned that Canada could fall woefully behind in competitive online gambling.
According to Paul Burns, the president of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Canada has had more than one opportunity in the recent past to change or amend current gambling laws to bring them up to date and in line with global trends, particular those of the USA. However, Burns went on to say that the Canadian Parliament has so far refused to modernize gaming laws, which is unfortunate considering the significant ramifications to the economy amending these laws would have.
Burns further clarified by saying "Provinces requested a simple amendment to our criminal code seven years ago, which would have provided greater regulatory oversight and control to sports wagering to protect consumers, athletes and the integrity of sport. This request has fallen on deaf ears." According to Burns, the Canadian sports betting and casino gaming markets in Canada are massive, with Canadians betting an estimated amount of $10 million on offshore online sports betting and casino platforms each year.
Furthermore, the CGA estimates that around $500 million is spent in legal wagers in provincially sanctioned sports betting each year. This includes Ontario’s Pro Line, as well as other provinces similar platforms. However, the option for single game wagering is still illegal in Canada.
Canadians that are looking for those single game wagering options will still need to look to offshore (overseas) online sports betting platforms, something that is hopefully addressed in the near future, if Canadian authorities see the light and take the example presented by the recent SCOTUS ruling. Considering what the future holds for online sports betting in general, including personal betting consoles on every seat in major stadiums, it might be the perfect time for a change in the current landscape as far as Canada’s current stance on sports wagering is concerned.
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