On June 22, 2021, Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, was passed by the Senate of Canada. The bill, which amends Canada’s Criminal Code to legalize single event sports betting in the country, will become law following Royal Assent. Until now, it was only legal in Canada to bet on parlays, which are bets on multiple sporting events made together.
As the regulator for all areas of gaming in Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) will have an important role to play in the regulation of single-event sports betting as offerings become available in the province, whether through traditional channels, such as casinos, lottery products, OLG channels, or within the new competitive internet gaming (igaming) market, which is expected to launch by the end of 2021.
The AGCO is closely monitoring Bill C-218 anticipating the legalization of single event sports betting and will move quickly to make this a key part of Ontario’s competitive and regulated igaming market, launching this calendar year. The AGCO has been actively working to develop standards applicable to single sports betting and a regulatory approach to regulate single event sports betting with the principles of honesty, integrity, and in the public interest.
In the next few weeks, the AGCO will post a discussion paper on the AGCO’s igaming engagement portal to gather input from industry stakeholders on the proposed standards for sports and event betting. These standards will be embedded into the draft Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, which were recently developed after collecting feedback and input from stakeholders.
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