Canada Government confirms August 27 date for legal sports betting

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Canada’s Government has issued a statement this week, confirming that single event sports betting will become enshrined in law on August 27, 2021. 

The news was delivered in a missive by the Honorable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, along with Irek Kusmierczyk, Member for Windsor—Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

The statement read: “Strengthening our economy by supporting the decriminalization of single event sport betting is important to the Government of Canada and contributes to creating a safer and stronger Canada. 

“Canadians understand that single event sport betting should take place in a safe and regulated environment, while also supporting good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. Communities with existing casinos and other gaming operations, particularly along the Canada-US border, could benefit from single event sport betting, especially in light of recent changes to gambling laws in the United States.”

As of August 27, provinces and territories will be permitted to conduct and manage single event sport betting in their respective jurisdictions and offer Canadians an opportunity to place bets in a regulated and safe environment either online or in physical facilities. The sole exception is betting on horse racing, which will continue to be regulated by the federal government. 

The government statement added: “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 Government of Canada is engaging with provinces and territories and 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. 

“The federal government remains committed to continuing discussions on the future of gaming, collaboratively with provincial and territorial partners and Indigenous nations, communities, and organizations.”

Tassi commented: “Making single event sport betting legal will help support workers in the gaming industry in Windsor, across Southwestern Ontario and throughout the country. 

“This change will help secure good jobs and open the way for profits to be directed back into the growth of our communities. Together with unions and workers, our government will continue working to support fairness for Canadian workers and prosperity across our region.”

Kusmierczyk added: “Canadians who want to participate in single event sport betting are already doing so in unlicensed markets. That money is funding the coffers of organized crime rather than governments that provide important services to residents. Today’s announcement will bring sports betting into a safe and regulated space, while also protecting 2,500 good-paying jobs at Caesars Windsor and boosting our cross-border tourism sector that has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”