Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC), the regulatory body for gambling in the Canadian province of Alberta, has announced its support for changes in law to permit single-event sports betting in the country.
Canada’s Criminal Code currently only permits consumers to wager on at least three games or more in an individual bet, meaning that a wager on a single sports match or event is regarded as illegal.
However, a bill (C-13) introduced in the Canadian House of Commons in November last year, proposes amending paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful to bet on a single sports or athletics event.
Provincial lottery operator the British Columbia Lottery Corporation has already voiced its support for the legislation, while media business Score Media and Gaming (theScore) and a number of major sports leagues have also backed single-event betting in Canada.
The AGLC has now joined this growing list of supporters, with acting president and chief executive Kandice Machado saying the bill would help to modernize gambling laws in the country.
“This would present the ability to give legal age Albertans new and unique options on their favourite sporting events,” Machado said.
“Players would be able to choose a game or proposition that gives them greater odds of a successful bet, picking between markets such as the game outcome, point spread or how many shots a player registers.”
AGLC chief operating officer Niaz Nejad also noted that opening up more legal betting options to consumers could help reduce the amount of players that are gambling with offshore, unlicensed platforms, and instead direct them to PlayAlberta.ca, Alberta’s only regulated gambling site.
“The Canadian Gaming Association estimates that CAD$3bn annually is gambled on unregulated offshore sports gambling websites,” Nejad said. “Those websites provide limited protections or means of responsible play, education or access to responsible gambling tools.
“Play Alberta uses AGLC’s best-in-class GameSense responsible gambling program, which promotes healthy gambling behaviours and gives players access to valuable tools and resources.”