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Betting in Canada

Published on: 30/11/2015

The Canadian laws regarding gambling are not dissimilar to those of the USA. In the United States, Nevada is the one state in America where gambling on one off sporting matches is permitted, however, this kind of betting remains illegal in Canada.

Canada’s strict gambling regulations were initiated to preserve the nation’s reputation for sports integrity as well as to restrict criminal gambling activities. Government officials in Canada are now in the process of trying to amend the countries ridged gambling laws. Politicians are looking to make the gambling industry legal whilst retaining heavy control at provincial level.

Criminal gambling activities have become a serious issue for Canada; the government is battling to stop further unlawful betting trades from being organised. Many countries with similar bans on open market betting also have problems with illegal gambling.

One current statement has reported that of every $1 used on illegal betting, 92% of that actually ends up in the illegal gambling trade or funding major criminal activities. It is estimated that around $1 billion dollars’ worth of bets are placed annually via foreign sportsbooks, rather of through authorised Canadian bookies. If the Canadian government were to control and legalize gambling for its citizens, off-shore wagering would cease and it would be advantageous for the country’s economy. As it stands Canadian citizens are only permitted to gamble on several sporting games at one time by using a “parlay card”.

British football multi-bets work in the same way as the “parlay card”, but Canadian punters prefer to bet on baseball, ice hockey and American football. Parlay cards are provided by a lottery organisation and give regular odds on a number of prediction sequences. The Lottery business (called Manitoba) obviously aims to make a profit, so the bettor normally has a significant handicap where the odds stacked against them.

Despite the lack of gambling freedom in Canada at a national level, the number of gambling venues in the provinces continues to grow at a steady rate. Canada’s Gaming Associations published a statistical report in 2010, which suggested that profits generated from the nations betting industry had more than doubled since the mid-nineties. In addition, new gaming machines have generated an increase in profits from $6 million in 2006, to an estimated $7 million in 2010. If the government’s proposals were to go ahead, Canada’s gambling industry could soon become very successful. Legal sportsbooks could bring many opportunities and advantages to the economy.

The Canadian government would be wise to ensure that rigorous regulations were put in place in order to stop illegal gambling activities from occurring, as has been the case in many other countries worldwide.