The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is once again urging Ottawa to work collaboratively to help proposed federal legislation to legalise single-event sports betting in Canada cross the finish line.
This week in the country’s House of Commons, Private Member’s Bill C-218 to legalise single-event sports betting passed second reading and was referred to committee for consideration – a key stage, but one of many still required for the bill to become law.
Stewart Groumoutis, BCLC’s Director of eGaming, said: “We’re calling on all Members of Parliament to work together collaboratively to legalize single-event betting for the benefit of our players and provinces.
“Our players want single-event sports betting, and we are ready to provide this enhanced offering to them in a safe and responsible manner while also generating additional revenue for the Province of BC.”
At the moment, BC players wanting to place single-event sports bets either have to travel to casinos across the border in the US or place bets on unregulated off-shore gambling websites, neither of which provide jobs or revenue that benefit the province.
BCLC states the legalisation of single-event sports betting would see this traffic shift to BC casinos and PlayNow.com, where the health of players is prioritised and where revenue helps support provincial initiatives such as healthcare, education and community programs.
Legalised single-event betting would create a new suite of sports-betting opportunities at PlayNow.com, the only regulated gambling website in the province, that BCLC says its players have been asking for.
In land-based casinos and community gaming centres, BCLC commented that it would work with industry, regulator and government partners to introduce licensed sportsbooks in key markets. It would also consider enhanced sports-betting offerings at hospitality locations across the province that sell lottery products.
BCLC expects single-event sports betting to generate an estimated $125m to $175m in additional revenue through online and land-based opportunities. In the fiscal year 2019/20, BCLC generated $1.3bn in net income for the BC province, which helps support education, community programs and healthcare.
Earlier this year, BCLC appointed Lynda Cavanaugh as its Interim President & CEO while Jim Lightbody continues his medical leave to undergo cancer treatment and recovery.