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Canadian Single-Game Sports Betting: Risks VS Opportunities
A similar sort of bill battled its way through the House of Commons about 10 years ago, with all parties supporting it. However, once it reached the Senate, it had very little impact and pretty much died out when 2015’s election was called.
A second attempt took place when New Democrat MP Brian Masse submitted a private member’s bill, uniting his own Liberal party with the Conservatives in 2016. However, this was also not to be, leaving the Liberals to have another try in November 2020.
That legislation was dropped when Conservative MP Kevin Waugh agreed to include its horse racing industry protections into Bill C-218, and it was this that passed the House in February 2021.
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So, with this bill likely to receive the royal assent that it needs, what will this mean for Canada and its sports betting sector? What are the opportunities that single-game wagering will present, and on the other hand, what are the risks associated with it?
Doubtless, the sports betting landscape is sure to change, considering that Canadian gamblers partake in annual betting at offshore sites, and this is estimated to generate revenue of around $10 billion.
An Influx of Funds from the World of Sport
Plans are already in place by multiple professional sports betting teams and leagues, to take advantage of the change in the law. Various experts have suggested that the potential for the sports betting market is so large in Canada that it could provide a $4 billion revenue stream.
Multiple sports betting operators will likely enter into the Canadian market now, with popular brands like DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet being favourites to do so. Of course, this could result in professional Canadian sports teams forming partnerships with such gambling brands, obtaining sponsorship and helping to generate additional funds that way.
Doubtless, that will contribute significantly enough to the economy of the country, with a variety of income streams being plausible. New revenue is likely to be generated from the individual player betting that will become available, while realised revenue via sports marketing opportunities and the partnerships mentioned earlier is also likely for Canada.
Of course, new revenue streams are always going to be good. They will benefit both the Canadian economy and the sports betting sector overall. It would be key to note that there is also the possibility of suffering from big and unknown impacts within, too.
With the homegrown brand theScore potentially entering into the market, its gaming equity is most likely to be sensitive to single-game betting becoming fully legal. The stock encountered some profit-taking when it was announced that the bill had passed the Senate, with shares being 70.63% higher in comparison to the previous month.
Score Media, which is the parent company of theScore, debuted on the NASDAQ in March.
It is cited as being the biggest winner when it comes to the legalisation of single-game wagering in Canada. Due to the fact that it would have a home country cash flow, that could assist it with gaining even more share in the U.S. market.
Canada’s Sport Industry
It is well-known these days that the world of sport was heavily affected by the threat of the worldwide pandemic. In fact, some events are still being impacted by it, with the Olympics in Japan taking place without any fan attendance at all. Yet, the global sports industry is thought to be worth around $529 billion. Without fans buying event tickets and merchandise from these occasions though, a cash stream has dried up.
Canada’s sports scene didn’t escape those restrictions either. Just take a look at the Toronto Raptors having to play in Florida because of international border restrictions being in place, thanks to COVID-19. The costs have been outrightly terrible because of this.
Canada makes up a tenth of the $80 billion sports industry shared between it and the United States of America. The introduction of single-game sports betting provides the country with a new option for engaging the fan-sport property entertainment experience. And it is due to this that so many sports teams and media partners etc. are pretty much going for it where sports betting is concerned.
Compare this new opportunity with the Big Tobacco sponsorship money that was laid out from the 1970s until 1989. An advertising ban was introduced back then which meant the country’s three huge tobacco companies could no longer sponsor art groups or sporting events. This dried up a huge portion of funds for the scene – something that the sponsorships from sports betting brands could reintroduce.
Certain Concerns to Be Monitored
As with anything, the introduction of single-game wagering has its concerns for the Canadian government. Therefore, it has chosen to introduce a watchdog sort of agency, which will monitor the industry as a whole. The bill’s current form incorporates amendments that will prohibit match-fixing from taking place, but other things should also be considered.
How exactly will responsible gambling be moderated and managed, as well as communicated? As of the moment, Canada does not seem to have had a proper conversation with regard to the implementation of responsible betting within its borders.
The potential is definitely there for gambling addiction numbers to rise, thanks to the launch of single-game wagering. Recent research suggests that sports fans and bettors are at a higher risk of suffering from gambling addiction than those who are not sports fans. While it is clear to see what some of the best sports for betting in Canada are under current legislation, single-game betting will open the market up even more.
It is notable that Canada doesn’t have much in place that echoes what the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling provides. theScore is already a member of that, but without such being available in its hometown, will it have as much incentive to enter that market?
As well as this, there is a concern that the industry is suffering from a lack of diversity, being loaded with traditional male profiles. Introducing a diversity strategy could set up a much more attractive scene.
There is little doubt that the introduction of single-game betting will change the country’s landscape. For now, though, the jury remains unclear on what sort of impacts it will have, both positive and negative. Ideally, Canada’s sports betting industry should work out some protocols for ensuring it provides a transparent and considerate betting market.
Diversity should also be a key factor, while a sustainable footprint is something else to consider.
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