A coalition of professional North American sports leagues have publicly expressed their support for single-event sports betting in Canada.

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) published a joint statement signed by the National Basketball Association (NBA), Canadian Football League (CFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS) hailing efforts to allow legal betting, which read as follows-

“[The leagues] support an amendment to Canada’s federal laws that would authorize provinces to offer betting on single sporting events. Sports-betting happens illegally in Canada; creating a legal framework would shift consumers from illicit, unregulated markets to a legal and safe marketplace. Regulating single-game betting would allow for strong consumer protections as well as safeguards to further protect the integrity of sports

Sports betting gives fans another exciting way to engage with the sports they love and because a legal and regulated sports betting market in Canada would be beneficial to sports and their fans, we urge prompt action to make this a reality.”

Copies of the above letter were sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as the country’s Attorney General, Justice Minister and Finance Minister.

Canadians can currently only bet legally on sports via parlays at the provincial lotteries.  There is, however, a flourishing market for offshore operators.  It is estimated that an amount of $14 billion is wagered yearly with illegal, offshore bookmakers while $500 million is wagered through regulated means.

A bill – the “Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act” – was introduced in Parliament in February, which is Canada sports betting’s best chance of federal legislation.

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