The legalized sports betting marketplace has erupted in the United States after the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, with legal U.S. sportsbooks taking in over $57 billion in handle since the decision, per Legal Sports Report.
Now Canada is set to legalize sports betting as well.
The Senate of Canada approved Bill C-218, known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, by a vote of 57-20 on Tuesday afternoon, legalizing single-game sports betting in the country on everything except horse racing. Each province and territory can now decide whether or not to offer sports betting. The bill should receive Royal Assent and become law in the coming days.
“DraftKings has been part of the Canadian sports culture for many years, and, through legalized sports betting, the company has another opportunity to further change the way fans in the country engage with their favorite teams, players and leagues,” Griffin Finan, VP, Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel at DraftKings said in a release. “As a customer-centric company, we’re excited for the potential opportunity to deliver the DraftKings sports betting experience to Canadian sports fans.”
Sports betting has been legal in Canada and offered by the provinces through the lottery for years, but only involving parlay wagers.
"This is a major milestone and achievement for the Canadian gaming industry," Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association said in a release. "The CGA has been working to legalize single-event sports betting for more than 10 years and Bill C-218 benefited from a groundswell of broad stakeholder support from across Canada. The need for regulation, oversight, player protection, and the creation of economic benefits for Canada was understood by everyone involved in the legislative process, which is why the Bill was successfully passed."
With a population of roughly 38 million people (a little smaller than California), it is a massive opportunity for sports betting operators and a vastly different marketplace than the U.S.
Canada is home to seven NHL teams, along with the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and the Canadian Football League.