The long awaited bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, will soon pass into law after securing Royal Assent last month. All that remains is for the Canadian House of Commons to be advised, who voted through the bill following a third reading in April. The bill has been a long time coming and was reintroduced into parliament last November after several previous unsuccessful attempts.

The bill will repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code, under which consumers are only permitted to wager on at least three games or more (known as ‘parlay bets’), meaning that a bet on a single match or event is deemed illegal.

Legalisation is a blessing for sports betting in Canada, after decades of prohibition failure. Easy access to black market betting has siphoned as much as 14 billion dollars a year away from an industry that previously relied on parlay bets, which have low winning odds.

Responsible growth

“The timing is right for Canada to expand sports betting” said David Shoemaker, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “Our interests are in ensuring that single sport betting is introduced in a responsible, effective and profitable manner.”

The bill is set to revolutionise the betting market and usher in a new revenue stream for the Canadian government, as much as much as $1.47bn from Ontario alone. C-218 is a fresh chance to usher in an ethically regulated market, something championed by Shelley White CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council:

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from health, mental health, education, financial services and the policing sectors with the gambling industry to create a made-in-Canada responsible gambling culture comprised of evidence-informed regulations and leading practices. We have the opportunities to learn from other jurisdictions who’ve come before us and applied the highest level of safeguards.”

Compliance science

Bill C-218 will usher in a new era of regulated growth for businesses operating in the Canadian market, but compliance will need to be at the forefront of growth strategies, in order to capture the greatest market opportunities.

In particular, there has been no official conversation around responsible betting, in terms of moderation, management or communication. As Shelley mentions above, now is the time for Canada to learn from other jurisdictions in order to form a best practice approach. This will not only protect customers, but in the long term slow the pace of more aggressive compliance controls and requirements.

Operators must take the same attitude into their advertising campaigns. Responsible marketing is the safest approach to build sustainable growth into a long term market.

Anti-money laundering (AML) however is a current concern in Canada and iGaming Academy has carefully crafted a new AML course specifically for Canadian regulation with this in mind.

Contact us to enquire about our suit of compliance courses.

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