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BCLC and theScore back Canadian single-event betting push


Canadian provincial lottery operator the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and media business theScore have both declared their support for single-event sports betting in the country.

Canada’s Criminal Code, under paragraph 207(4)(b), currently only permits bets on at least three games or more, meaning that a wager on a single match or event is illegal.

However, Conservative Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh aims to change this with C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which had its first reading in the House of Commons in February. The bill looks to repeal paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code to permit single-event betting.

BCLC and theScore have now also thrown their backing behind the effort, with the hope of legalising single-event sports betting in British Columbia and the wider Canadian market.

“Parlayed sports betting, in which players must wager on a minimum of two different events at one time, is currently the only legal form of sports betting in Canada,” BCLC said.

“BCLC supports efforts to legalise single-event betting in Canada so BC players can make single-event sports wagers in a secure, regulated environment.”

theScore founder and chief executive John Levy previously voiced his support for proposals by Ontario’s provincial government to legalise online gambling in the province, and has now declared his backing for the latest effort.

Levy said: “We strongly support the league commissioners’ calls to promptly amend Canada’s out-dated federal laws to provide a safe, regulated, and competitive sports betting environment for fans in this country.

“Sports betting is a major part of the fan experience and already takes place in Canada through the unlicensed grey market with offshore operators.”

Last week, a coalition of major North American sports leagues publicly expressed their support for single-event sports betting.

In a joint statement published by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), the National Basketball Association (NBA); National Hockey League (NHL); Major League Soccer (MLS); Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) hailed efforts to allow legal betting.

Meanwhile, the BCLC has awarded a multi-year contract for managed trading services for digital sports betting to Scientific Games.

Under the agreement, Scientific Games launched its OpenTrade risk and liability management service on the BCLC’s, the only regulated gambling website in British Columbia.

The arrangement will grant BCLC access to proprietary feeds services, pre-match and in-play pricing, meaning it will be able to offer betting on 300,000 events and in-play wagering on 200,000 each year.

The contract builds on Scientific Games’ relationship with the BCLC, with the two parties having signed a five-year extension to their existing digital sports betting and online gaming agreement in October last year. This agreement is due to run through to 2024.

Scientific Games’ senior vice president digital Keith O’Loughlin said: “OpenTrade is the final piece of the jigsaw that will allow BCLC to provide its large customer base with exciting experiences that are backed by reliable technology and trading expertise.

“We’re looking forward to next chapter of our journey with BCLC. They have an excellent team who are demonstrating the power of bringing digital gaming and betting experiences to the forefront of world lottery strategies.”