Bill C-218 passes through House of Commons, inches Canada closer to major sports betting changes

Canada is one step closer to legalized single-event sports betting. (Twitter // @ForbesSports)

Bill C-218, known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, passed through the House of Commons on Feb. 17, bringing Canada closer to legalized single-event sports betting.

The bill received astounding support in the House of Commons, garnering 303 approvals to just 15 disapprovals. On Mar. 9, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met to discuss Bill C-218. The next step for the bill includes moving to the senate and then the Governor-General for Royal Assent.

As currently written, Bill C-218 will place the responsibility onto provinces and territories for regulating single-event sports gambling.

Citizens 18 years of age and older in Ontario can currently bet on sporting events through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, but none of the current offerings allow bettors to wager on just one event. The Pro-Line and Props games allow bettors to select three to six events, Point Spread allows for two to twelve selections, while those who play Pools must make a selection for all events on the card.

The decision to make single-event sports betting legal seems like one that will be well received as Canadians wager roughly $10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, according to the Canadian Gaming Association. Reforming sports gambling laws in Canada will help attract bettors that have explored other options in the past.

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