Soon, on August 27, the federal government will make it legal to gamble on individual sporting events. The provinces and territories will be able to set rules for new online and physical-venue forms of single-event sports betting (SESB). With Canadians spending approximately $10 billion per year on SESB through illegal networks, plus additional billions via opportunities in offshore jurisdictions, the new legal changes provide opportunity to regulate and control SESB, and divert money from organized crime.
Please check out this new panel interview clip on CP24 where CAMH Independent Scientist, Dr. Nigel Turner, shares a balanced perspective on some of the risks and opportunities related to legally regulated SESB. Also on the panel are New Democrat MP Brian Masse, who pushed Bill C-218 to move forward, and Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association.
While increased opportunities to gamble create more opportunities for people to develop problem gambling, new efforts are needed to provide responsible gambling tools and information on where to seek help. As Dr. Turner suggests, “What we need is research to find out what are effective responsible gambling tools and information that we can provide to the public to offset the greater availability of gambling."
What are your thoughts on legal SESB in Canada?