April 22n, 2021, Canada finally pass Bill C-218 that allow Canadians to bet on a single game instead of the previous one that required a minimum of three games connected. The bill was introduced to curb the spread of offshore websites that offered Canadian any options they want.
The bill allows provincially regulated gambling brands to compete with unregulated online sports betting websites that have been offering Canadian single-game betting. The Canadian government woke up to the reality that a lot of money was being siphoned offshore and had no choice left but to amend the law.
The Canadian government also took notice of their southern neighbor, the United States of America. The state of New Jersey for instance is offering citizens single-game betting. They even offer an option like who scores first in a game. That has seen their sport betting revenue increase with time.
Canada wants this sport betting law to ensure that sports betting revenue remains in the province. In Canada, provinces licenses gambling, no offshore casino operators are licensed to accept Canadian players. In other words, Canada is a free market and allows the provincially regulated operators to contest with unregulated offshore gambling entities.
In the U.S., they succeeded to keep offshore gambling entities out betting market by implementing the unlawful gambling act back in 2006. The act made it a criminal offense for offshore online gambling entities to accept American money. They also set up a task force that aggressively went after banks and credit card processors that facilitated online gambling transactions.
However, it is a different situation in Canada, many offshore operators targeting the Canadian market have licenses with Kahnawake First Nation’s reserve. The Kahnawake First Nation, located just outside of Montreal, offers licenses to operators outside of Canadian but targeting the Canadian market.
The Canadian government can do nothing about it given that the Kanawakee reserve is a sovereign nation outside of Canada’s laws. Furthermore, the Canadian government cannot go telling sovereign nations what they can and not do.
Canada online sports betting was pioneered by two Canadian, Calvin Ayre and Isai Scheinberg. Calvin founded the Bodog online sportsbook in 1994 while Isai founded PokerStars in 2001. Bodog still targets the Canadian market though not so the United States. Isai and Calvin pioneered online sports gambling tactics that are still in use today.
Though the Canadian government is eyeing to control the revenue being siphoned out of the provinces, the negative effects of gambling cannot be ignored. Mothers have lost sons who committed suicide after accumulating huge gambling debt.
In the UK for instance, they have found a way of limiting the amount of money a player gamble. While registering, customers are asked to provide their driver’s license and bank statement to keep kids from accessing the parent credit cards and wagering their mother’s savings.
In Canada, there seems to be no plan to help problem gamblers as long as the offshore entities remain unregulated. Players will continue to play at the unregulated offshore entities where there is no max deposit.
Will Canada follow the United States in making offshore operators illegal? In the U.S., large online gambling operators lobbied the senate to shut offshore brands. The operators focused on the future they would be awarded licenses.
In Canada, it is difficult for the provincial gambling boards to influence the passing of a law, they also do not have money to throw to lobbyists. Furthermore, the Canadian government can’t shut down operators using the Kahnawake First Nation licenses