The British Columbia Lottery Commission is using Super Bowl week to double down on its support for a proposed bill that would legalize single-event sports bets in Canada.
Last fall members of the Liberal Party brought forward Bill C-13, which would allow single-game bets on events like the Super Bowl. Members of Canada’s House of Commons tabled debate of the legislation until early 2021.
Now it appears lawmakers are ready to consider seriously discussing the bill as the calendar flips to February.
“Our players have wanted single-event sports betting for a long time. For example, this weekend is the Super Bowl and our players want to be able to simply bet on the winner, which they are unable to do under the current legislation,” says Stewart Groumoutis, BCLC’s director of eGaming. “We’re encouraging the federal government to modernize laws so we can provide single-event betting to our players and generate additional revenue to support provincial programs.”
Canadian operators are losing out on tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars in Super Bowl wagers. As the law currently stands, bettors must travel to the US or use unregulated off-shore sites to place single-event sports wagers.
Canadian lawmakers have previously resisted efforts to allow single-event bets. In 2016 the House of Commons killed a similar piece of legislation to Bill C-13 by a 23-vote margin.
There’s renewed hope that single-event sports betting will receive more support this time around now that the Liberal Party holds a considerable majority in the legislature and its leader, Justin Trudeau, serves as prime minister.