What lessons the US can take from Canada on gambling
Sports fans in the United States of America are living in historical times as the nation begins to lift its long-running blanket ban on sports and casino betting. For generations, Americans and visitors to the states couldn’t wager on their favourite sports, including football, basketball and hockey, without having to travel to Las Vegas.
For millions, that was a journey lasting many hours and most viewed it as not worth the effort. It’s a scenario our readers living in nations where gambling is legal just couldn’t comprehend? The winds of change are blowing through America regarding sports betting, with government officials voting to end the ban and put the decision on the future of online betting in the hands of senators and officials in each state.
That led to some areas, like New Jersey, rushing ahead to legalise betting while others stuck to their guns on the matter. The majority of states decided to put it to a vote and should make their decisions in 2022. Many of these states prefer to wait it out and see how lifting the ban affects their neighbours. They needn’t wait that long just across the border; they have a reliable case study, the gambling laws in Canada.
If American states wanted help and advice with starting their sports betting adventure, they need only ask. In this article, we take a look at the betting laws in Canada and how states in America may or may not want to follow the example set by their neighbour.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/what-lessons-the-us-can-take-from-canada-on-gambling/ by Luqman Jackson on 2021-09-15T12:43:32.691Z
The rules regarding sports betting in Canada are interesting, but they are far from straightforward. It would be impossible to bring you fully up to speed on the matter in a few lines of this article. Instead, we’ll keep it brief in an attempt to give our readers a flavour of what’s going on.
On paper, gambling is illegal in Canada unless you are doing it through a government authority. The Canadian government owns and runs betting in the nation, which means they can set the rules, limit the number of bets accepted and the sports wagered on, use the profits to benefit the nation and put in place the laws they want. There’s no need to go through a long and drawn-out process to make any important decisions relating to online betting. No need to debate with major bookmakers desperate to get their way.
The Canadian government is in charge, and that’s the way they like it. That is unlikely to change any time soon, although some in the country are pushing to modernise and update the industry, making it a fairer and more competitive market.
The positives of having state-run betting are obvious and include some of the points already raised, but it’s not a magic wand that sorts out the issue of sports betting, and it’s not a one size fits all that can be copy and pasted to the United States. There are a few drawbacks to the Canadian model, and America may want to learn from those when creating their own style of a successful gambling industry.
Where might American states wish to improve? Well, having a state-owned betting market means there is no value for the customer. The more sportsbooks allowed to trade in a region, the greater the level of competition, and that’s to the benefit of the bettor. They can compare the odds and promotions offered by bookies vying for their business, rather than doing the minimum, knowing customers don’t have a choice to go elsewhere.
Blocking the world’s biggest betting apps moving into an area also blocks the amount of potential tax the region can make from betting and bookmakers. The main attraction for some states looking to legalise online betting is the potentially huge tax revenues that come with the industry. Would they wish to cut that out in favour of running things themselves and taking on all that extra work?
One solution is to create a gambling/gaming commission that licenses bookmakers and regulates how they operate. This means only the best and most professional bookies operate in a region, it creates jobs at the sportsbooks and regulators, and it allows officials to set the tax rates on the profits of businesses.