Game on! The opportunities and risks of single-game sports betting in Canada

Single-event sports betting was recently approved by the Senate of Canada via Bill C-218, which is big news for the Canadian sport industry.

The passage with this bill, almost 10 years in the making, will dramatically change the sports landscape in this country considering that annual betting by Canadians is estimated to surpass US$10 billion a year through offshore betting websites and illegal gambling operations.

The influence with this bill — and related activities that will include sport marketing and media partnerships and related activation — is likely to be enormous for an industry that has been severely and negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Many industry insiders representing professional sport teams and leagues already are planning for what they describe as being among, or even the most, transformational sport disruptions in the modern-day industry. Experts remember that the potential for this market is large, given it could be a US$4 billion revenue opportunity.

An array of sport betting operators will now enter the Canadian market, including DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet. That’ll contribute significantly to the economy through a number of means, including new revenue via individual consumer betting in addition to realized revenue through sport marketing partnerships with professional teams and leagues.

These new revenue streams are likely to be difficult to ignore, but are fraught with big and unknown impacts.

The Canadian sport industry:

Today, the global sport industry is estimated to be valued at approximately US$529 billion. It’s been well acknowledged that it has been severely impacted by COVID-19, especially as it pertains to lack of fan-related revenue, including venue attendance and ticketing.

In Canada, as an example, the Raptors had to play in Florida due to international border restrictions due to COVID-19 and the costs have now been detrimental.

In the United States and Canada, the sport industry is estimated to be valued at approximately US$80 billion, with Canada getting back together a tenth with this market size.


Single-game betting provides a new method of engaging the fan-sport property entertainment experience, which is why so many sport teams, media partners and related sport sponsors are actively going “all in” with the chance for involvement around this highly engaged consumer segment.

This new market may be in comparison to Big Tobacco sponsorship money that was formally extinguished through previous federal legislation 电竞博彩. It held a brand new and rather unwieldy power as one on most influential sport funding partners in Canada during the 1970s and 1980s.

And inspite of the single-betting bill taking 10 years to pass, stakeholders and the government continue to be wanting to regulate the the effects of the brand new sport betting industry.

This means sorting out what will be best practice strategies that can draw comparisons to Wild West when unmoderated.

Social impacts

So what’re the impacts of single-game betting to the and society, and how does it be regulated?

The government recently announced they’re implementing a watchdog type agency and policy to monitor the for a number of concerns which, in the bill’s current form, include amendments to prohibit match-fixing and changes to the Criminal Code allowing First Nations lottery considerations.

What’s not been considered, however, is how responsible betting is likely to be moderated, managed and communicated. Currently, there is no proof of a national, independent or arms-length conversation on responsible betting. We realize that related addictions could rise, especially with recent Canadian evidence showing that sport fans and bettors be seemingly at a greater danger of problem gambling than non-sport fans.

What’s the right role and place of key stakeholders in this space, new and current, and how will this new category be defined as a sport marketing vehicle? The exchange of related sports data for betting purposes remains unclear.

One concern is the lack of a similar mechanism to the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling — that theScore, a respected Canadian player in the global sport betting scene, is just a member. Another concern is the lack of diversity in the sports betting industry. The industry is loaded with traditional male profiles — a thorough diversity strategy could attract young, bright talent.

What does it mean for Canadian sport?

The jury is very much still out on the impact of the now legal, single-game sport betting industry in our country.

But this change is likely to be monumental in proportions and value, with the potential to significantly impact the sport industry in ways we haven’t noticed in decades.

The industry must take immediate steps to ensure it’s open, transparent and considerate of responsible betting. It must lead with a varied culture, and have strong considerations for a geniune and sustained footprint in a industry desperately posed to come back to sport after COVID-19.

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