Sports betting may finally become legal in Canada.
Federal Justice Minister David Lametti has unveiled legislation to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, marking a change in direction for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
The proposed changes would allow provinces to issue licenses for companies to accept wagers on all sporting events except horse racing, which will remain under a separate system. It is currently illegal to bet on single games under Canadian law.
The governing Liberal Party voted against a similar bill in Parliament in 2016.
Canadians spend $10 billion each year on single-event betting through illegal bookies and a further $4 billion on international betting websites, according to Lametti.
Canadian companies that could benefit from the new government legislation include Score Media & Gaming (TSX:SCR), FanDuel, GVC Holdings, Great Canadian Gaming (TSX:GC), DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Hard Rock International.
Provinces would also earn a new tax revenue source as a second wave of Covid-19 depletes fiscal coffers and wreaks havoc on the national economy. Online sports wagers and iGaming created almost $160 million U.S. in tax revenue in 2019 in the U.S. according to the American Gaming Association.