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Bill C-13 Introduces Single Event Sports Betting to Canada
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Bill C-13 Introduces Single Event Sports Betting to Canada
At the beginning of December, the federal government of Canada introduced single-event sports betting legislation to the country. This came following an announcement made by Federal Justice Minister, David Lametti.
Under that proposed legislation, each of the provinces’ and territories’ governments have the ability to both conducts and manage single-event sports betting within their respective jurisdictions. If that legislation is implemented, then the door would be left open for Canada’s territories to allow residents to legally bet on sports events either online or at land-based facilities.
It would be something that has been a long time coming as well. Ever since 2011, both gaming stakeholders and advocacy groups have been doing battle against the criminal prohibitions that bar single-event sports betting from taking place. And while the efforts of these groups almost paid off in 2015, it did not come to fruition in the end.
Now though, Canadian residents who have an interest in sports betting have quite the reason to be excited. The introduction of bill C-13 seems like it will inevitably be signed into law, repealing the prohibition in the country’s criminal code that currently only allows parlay bets to occur.
This is not the only good news for Canada though, as the Conservative government showed even more interest in progressing with iGaming, too. Therefore, Canadian online casinos could soon become active from within the country’s borders, while the competitive sports betting market could start operating further down the road.
However, before any sort of gaming expansion can take place, the review of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) needs to address some deficiencies. These were pointed out by the Ontario Office of the Auditor General.
Auditor General Raises Concerns
The first of the findings within the recent report shows that the AGCO has no clear language to determine why or to what degree establishments are selected for being inspected. Transparency over this and other areas was one part that was heavily focused on by the Auditor.
The report clearly shows that the very same inspectors always inspected the same facilities. This, the Auditor said, it quite a concern when it comes to horse racing, for example. If an inspector has a long-term relationship with certain licensees, their independence and judgment could be compromised in the end.
Further to this, concerns were raised over money-laundering activity in relation to online casinos. While an increase in the number of reported suspicious transactions was noted, the report also states that very few of them actually resulted in any criminal charges being laid out. At the same time, it was said that numerous gamblers were able to wager high sums of money without any justification on their source of funds.
One final thing of note was that the report documented more than 2,200 unregulated gambling sites being accessible to Ontarians in 2015. Over 700 separate companies operated these casinos. Actions were suggested for tackling these unregulated platforms, including the targeting of suppliers, blocking casino payments and creating public awareness. However, none of those paths was actually taken in the end.
And it is not only the online casino sector that needs to be looked at, either. Canadians also need to address match-fixing prior to legalising single-game sports betting, according to experts.
It has been suggested that Canada remains quite the haven for match-fixing criminals, with an example being 30 years ago when the country’s men’s national soccer team faced off against North Korea. A group of players apparently sold out to bettors based in Singapore, but the courts decided against intervening because there was no specific law present at the time.
This, experts say, is something that needs a heavy focus placed on it before sports betting can be legalised efficiently enough.
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