On the 27th of August, 2021, the safe and regulated sports betting act received royal assent in Canada, which enabled each of the country’s provinces and territories to govern their respective sports betting markets. The first step many provinces took was to legalize single game betting on provincial sports lotteries, while only Ontario began preparing for the launch of a commercial sports betting market launch.
With projections on how much this new commercial betting industry could potentially be worth, here are some of the ways sport could potentially be influenced in the country:
More sponsorship deals
With sports betting set to launch in Ontario, it has been estimated that 989 million Canadian dollars will be generated within the first year, with further reports estimating that this amount will be sustained and increased in the years that follow.
Ontario is the most populated province in the country, so other provinces cannot expect the same amount of revenue to be generated from their respective provinces, however the amount the country as a whole stands to gain from commercial betting markets is substantial..
While the governments in each of these provinces are expected to receive some of this income from operators in the form of taxes, operators still stand to gain plenty, and will be looking to redirect some of this revenue towards different sports teams within Canada.
We could see the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators receive substantial investment from Ontario betting sites, which could result in them becoming more competitive in the NHL.
Attraction of more sporting stars
We’ve seen this process already beginning with Toronto FC’s signing of Italian super star Lorenzo Insigne, the knock on effects of increased sponsorship and investment is the attraction of world leading sports stars.
We’ve seen evidence of this in the US, where some of the world’s leading soccer players have gone to the states to either pursue a new challenge, or end off their competitive career, but the reason this is possible is due to the fact that the MLS has become a competitive league through investment.
The MLS has now become one of the most attractive leagues to play outside of Europe, and Toronto FC will be looking to acquire some big name firepower.
This is not just the case for soccer, we could be seeing the same for hockey too.
When it comes to sports betting, in most cases, professional sportsmen and women are prevented from engaging in placing any bets. The term for sports players, coaches, and any personnel involved with a given professional team within sports betting are known as insiders, and if this is not regulated, it can lead to match fixing.
This isn’t to say that Canada is the match fixing capital of the world, but without clear cut laws regarding gambling, it led to a greater likelihood that insiders had the ability to influence events. With the new legal implementation, at least in Ontario, the AGCO (Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario) has made it a clear goal that insiders will be prevented from betting.
These are just some of the ways sport in Canada could potentially be influenced by the safe and regulated sports betting act. It is yet to be seen as to how the rest of Canada will approach the new legislation.