Canada has swung open its doors to at-home sports betting – finally. The Canadian Government passed laws in August 2021 to allow single-event sports bets across Canada, but individual states will have the right to accept or reject sports betting. The news comes shortly after the USA also legalised sports betting to pave the way for a substantial economic boost.
Lots of big sportsbook companies and casinos are anticipating the newly emerging Canadian sports betting market, with most of them already making plans and jostling for an advantage point to scoop a large segment of the market. The SEO manager at the online casino platform, PartyCasino, is expecting Canada to become the most exciting and biggest gambling market in 2022. Many of the overseas vendors may need to join forces with Canadian companies to make early strides, similar to how the US’s MGM Resorts and the UK’s Entain have come together to penetrate the new US sports betting market.
Wasn’t sports betting already legal in Canada?
Sports betting and even casino gambling has been a grey area in Canada for a long time. Officially, these activities are illegal outside of native land owners’ casinos. However, it was not illegal to place bets and play casino games at foreign websites, as long as those service providers were licensed in their own jurisdiction.
The Canadian Government realised that allowing locals to play at foreign sites meant the country and states were missing out on collecting taxes, license fees and possible job creation. Moreover, it gave rise to criminal organisations to set up illegal casinos and use profits for criminal activities. By making gaming legal at home, the Government could raise address multiple concerns at once.
Ontario trailblazing the new sports betting laws
As soon as the new sports betting laws were announced, Ontario was tipped to be the first Canadian state to trigger the new statutes and welcome local sportsbooks. At the time of writing, there are still some things to be ironed out, such as licensing, taxes and regulations. But it does look as though Ontario will become the first state in Canada to accept single-event sports bets from local vendors.
Until the finer details are decided upon, you will be able to make sports bets at a number of outlets, including the state-owned PROLINE+ website.
When will it all be ready?
It is expected that all the details will have been established and the Ontario betting market will become live in the first week of April. However, this may be delayed. There is no doubt that US sportsbook operators and European sportsbooks have one eye in Canada right now and are waiting to pounce when it’s open to them. As mentioned earlier, you may see a lot of partnerships between market dominators abroad and local players that have received a license to offer sports betting already.