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Royal Assent of Criminal Code amendment set to spur sports betting in Canada

1st July 2021 8:55 am GMT

Single event sports betting is coming to Canada following Wednesday’s adoption of an Act to amend the Criminal Code to legalise the activity.

The Act received Royal Assent Wednesday, although a date for its entry into force is yet to be determined.

It will allow Canadian provinces and territories to conduct and manage single event betting on any sporting event except horse racing, through retail and online.

“I am pleased to welcome the Royal Assent of Private Member’s Bill C-218, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sports betting), which will bring the common practice of single event sport betting into a legal, regulated and safe environment, while strengthening our economy and supporting well-paying jobs for Canadians,” said David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

“The revenues generated from this type of gambling could be used by provinces and territories to fund programs and services in areas such as health care and education, as they currently do with other lottery revenues. The amendments clearly respond to calls from labour leaders, particularly in communities along the Canada-U.S. border, following similar changes made in a number of border states,” he added.

“Additionally, the Government of Canada is currently engaging with provinces and territories and with Indigenous nations, communities and organizations that have expressed an interest in discussing how gambling is regulated in Canada to better understand and respond to calls for greater opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to participate in the conduct and regulation of gaming in Canada.”

Bill C-218 was approved by the Canadian Senate on June 22, with the Criminal Code previously limiting sports betting to parlay wagers on three or more events.

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