A Reader (and Gambling Expert) Responds to My Legalization Column

| May 18th, 2018

Hi Jeff,

As a longtime fan/reader/listener of dabearsblog, I would like to offer up my experience and perspective on the recent change to sports betting laws in your country, and what results that may actually lead to in states across the U.S.A.

Sports betting has been legal in Canada for years, and in most provinces since the 90s, when offered by a provincially licensed/regulated entity.  But how it has been treated from province-to-province differs a fair bit, and the ongoing struggles to get certain sports/offers approved continues.  Following from your recent article, I would have some differing views on what the future may hold, but some points I agree with and have some further context:

“What a full sports book does is open up hundreds upon hundreds of bets per game…The active sports books around the country will take this action and the most creative ones will make the most money.”

This pre-supposes a lot.  States will want their say, and each could and will likely be very different in what they allow.  Will they have a private operator model, or will it be through the state-owned lottery…or some hybrid?  In Canada the models are very similar (with some nuance online), but in Europe there is a lot of variety.  Regardless of the operating model, what they allow to be offered in law may differ starkly.  In Canada, there are only two provinces (of 10) that today offer in-game (“live”) betting.  While most offer prop bets, the type & quantity allowed differ a fair bit.  Still not allowed throughout the country:  single-event betting.  It is still in our criminal code that you cannot bet on a single sporting event – thus, we must force parlays of at least two events.  Some states may be very conservative, if history holds.

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