New US Sports Betting Laws send Tremors through Canada

Canada to feel the burn as government ruling legalizes sports betting in US.

Canada Trembles as Government Legalizes Sports Betting in USFor decades now, Canadians have been restricted to a very limited form of legal sports betting activities. Parlays aren’t the most advantageous type of betting. But they are the only type permitted here in Canada. Then again, for most of those years, we could at least bask in the knowledge that Americans had it much worse.

Ever since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed in 1992, US punters in all but one state have been unable to bet on sports—at least, not legally. Before PASPA went into effect, four states were given the option to grandfather-in legal sports betting, but only Nevada chose to do so. Thus, any American who wanted to make a legal sports bet, traveled to Las Vegas to do it.

Those days are about to be over…

Government Legalizes Sports Betting in US

On Monday, the US Supreme Court did away with the federal law that banned sports betting in most states. By a vote of 6-3, history was made—PASPA was repealed. This opens the doors wide for any US state to regulate sportsbooks. Not just sports betting, but the most popular form of single event sports betting.

PASPA Overturned, US Sports Betting Laws ComingNot only are most states sure to jump aboard this lucrative market—in fact, several have already passed the necessary laws to do so in anticipation of this day—chances are it will trigger a mass expansion of US online gambling legalization as well. After all, online sportsbooks are sure to make a fortune, especially considering the exponential growth of mobile gaming.

Canada Must Play Catch-Up w/ Sports Betting Laws

Overnight, Canada has become the underdog in the North American sports betting market. The nation’s provinces, which are currently allowed to offer nothing more than sports lotteries (parlay tickets), stand to lose millions of dollars. They’ll have to play some very quick catch-up in the legislative ledgers to prevent it.

It would only make sense now for provincial governments to beseech federal lawmakers to amend the laws, post-haste. Until that’s done, major provincial gaming regulators in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere won’t be able to provide their punters with equally appealing odds.

No doubt, officials are already scrambling to take action. Several provinces rely very heavily on the revenue generated from land-based and online gambling. Losing millions of dollars isn’t something they’ll take kindly to. And a history of competition between Canada and their neighbors below the 49th parallel should only help to expedite the process.

Uncertainty Looms as Canadians Play the Waiting Game…

While this all sounds well and good, the Canadian government isn’t exactly known for its consonance. As much as regulators and experts alike know the correct path to take, there’s every chance political figureheads will spend months, even years, debating the future of sports betting laws in Canada.

The country already passed up on a chance to generate millions, if not billions, of dollars from Americans in the northern states. MP Brian Masse spent years touting the benefits of legalizing single-event sports wagers, which would inevitably draw punters from all bordering US states to place their wagers at nearby Canadian casinos. But alas, every effort was dismantled.

Harley Redlick, a sports writer and regular columnist for the Toronto Sun, is confident that—despite Canada’s missed opportunities of the last few years—single event sports betting will be legalized in the Great White North.

“Canada will follow the USA and legalize single sports betting within a couple years to ensure its casinos and economy do not lose jobs and money to the U.S,” writes Redlick. “It is just a shame we always have to react to the U.S. versus proactively doing the right thing when we have the chance.”

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