August 12, 2021 – Niagara Falls, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
Strengthening our economy by supporting the decriminalization of single event sport betting is important to the Government of Canada and contributes to creating a safer and stronger Canada. Canadians understand that single event sport betting should take place in a safe and regulated environment, while also supporting good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. Communities with existing casinos and other gaming operations, particularly along the Canada-U.S. border, could benefit from single event sport betting, especially in light of recent changes to gambling laws in the United States.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, along with Chris Bittle, the Member for St. Catharines, and Vance Badawey, the Member for Niagara Centre, announced that Criminal Code amendments relating to single event sport betting will come into force on August 27, 2021. The amendments to paragraph 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code received Royal Assent on June 29, 2021.
With these amendments, provinces and territories will be permitted to conduct and manage single event sport betting in their respective jurisdictions and offer Canadians an opportunity to place bets in a regulated and safe environment either online or in physical facilities, with the exception of betting on horse racing, which will continue to be regulated by the federal government. The revenues generated from this type of gambling could be used by provinces and territories to fund programs and services in areas such as health care and education, as they currently do with other lottery revenues.
The Government of Canada is engaging with provinces and territories and Indigenous nations, communities and organizations that have expressed an interest in discussing how gambling is regulated in Canada to better understand and respond to calls for greater opportunities for Indigenous peoples to participate in the conduct and regulation of gaming in Canada. The federal government remains committed to continuing discussions on the future of gaming, collaboratively with provincial and territorial partners and Indigenous nations, communities, and organizations.