B.C. legalizes single-game sports betting

There’s good news for sports fans in British Columbia as the legalization of single-game sports betting means they can now place bets on main events like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Grey Cup and even the Super Bowl.

The British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has begun accepting bets on individual sports events including baseball games and Nascar, after Ottawa’s Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, Bill C-218 was passed.

The bill officially became a law on August 27, after receiving Royal assent in mid-June this year.

The professional sports sector in Canada is bound to tap into the wealth of revenue in sports gambling which over the next couple of years has the potential to transform several sports-related industries.

Many experts agree that the decision to legalize single-game sports betting in provinces like B.C. would be a major catalyst in boosting the sports industry. The current legislation allows sports teams and leagues in Canada to tap into an estimated $10 billion in annual revenue from underground, illegal gambling transactions and $4 billion in “grey market” betting carried out by Canadians abroad, according to the Canadian federal government.

Also, the decision to legalize sports betting sites like Betzest may equally have been due to the drastic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the finances of many professional sports—playing an important role in gaining the support of many team owners.

At the peak of the pandemic, many leagues were forced to go on a season-long break without any concessions and ticket revenue, which seriously affected business for the Canadian Football League (CFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and other professional sports groups that relied heavily on gate-driven-revenue.

Matt Lee, spokesperson for the BCLC said the impact of the new legislation was almost instant.

“It’s a really exciting day for us. We turned the switch on this morning we’ve already seen quite a bit of uptake in bet betting activity over the last few hours,” he said in a report.

“Our first bet was on Aussie rules football, if you can believe it. That was just a few minutes after we enabled the one sports betting, and we’re really excited to finally start offering this to our players,” he continued.

Previously, Canadians weren’t allowed to place a bet on multiple events to prevent match-fixing in sports. However, the gaming associations have long argued that doing this has instead diverted billions of dollars in revenue to illegal bookies.

For a long time, many punters in B.C. have been placing single-game sports bets but doing so illegally on the many available grey market websites, said Lee. But with the new bill being passed, this should encourage more players to keep a majority of that gambling revenue within the shores of B.C.

Meanwhile, even if people weren’t patronizing unsanctioned betting sites, Lee noted that the requirement needed to bet on multiple events was a huge deterrent to both experience and even casual players.

According to a statement released by the BCLC, it said its website now features several responsible gambling guidelines, including the option of calling or chatting with professionals who can support players in making healthy gambling decisions, and equally recommend treatment and support services should there be any need for it.


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