Canada’s betting boom: A journey through time

The history of sports betting in Canada has changed from its primitive form to a profitable business with many types of bets and numerous companies offering their services. This widespread recreational activity with a relatively reduced application area has undergone significant liberalization due to legislative changes that have led to an improved and more diverse betting environment.

The history of gambling and sports betting in Canada began at the start of the 20th century, with different forms emerging. Significant changes took place in 1985, when amendments to the Criminal Code were introduced that restricted betting to only specific types, such as parlays and pari-mutuel, through provincial lotteries. Therefore, due to such limitations, most Canadians sought offshore sites for more decadent wagering options.

A significant shift in the Canadian betting industry occurred in 2021 with the passing of Bill C-218. The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act amended the Criminal Code to legalize single-event sports betting nationwide. It came into effect on 27th 27 and meant that people could place bets on individual matches instead of having to place accumulators. This significant change in sports betting in Canada created new possibilities for bettors.

According to the new set of rules and regulations, specific provinces in the country are given authority to manage and monitor activities regarding sports betting and other gambling activities. Each province can make its adjustments to the guidelines and policies without violating federal laws but meeting its requirements. Therefore, Canada has quite a diverse set of regulatory practices today, as every province has applied various rules and established its governance systems.

Ontario seized these rising opportunities to become one of the strongest competitors in this increasingly competitive field of online gaming. The province was at the leading edge by being one of the earliest to offer single-game wagering through PROLINE+, a new OLG-managed platform. Moreover, Ontario increased its market size by licensing independent operators under the watch of AGCO. This means that over 60 online gaming sites have already been launched and offer attractive options, such as registration bonuses in the regulated market, which will be launched on April 4, 2022.

Alberta also follows the same policy and is optimistic about allowing third-party operators and increasing betting options for its people.

However, the current scenario regarding sports betting in Canada differs from before. Even though some provinces continue to offer government-operated betting platforms, Ontario is a unique market that attracts global and national operators with its competitive environment. This emerging market has established Canada as a significant player in the international sports gambling market, rapidly growing and evolving.

Despite being relatively new in Canada, the legal sports betting industry continues to grow and provide more opportunities for bettors, thanks to new technologies and widespread acceptance of the activity. This growth not only meets the needs of Canadian bettors but also puts the whole country at the top of the sports betting world, with all the guarantees of further progress in the future.

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