Canada’s Move to Legalize Single Events Sports Betting Change the CFL?

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Canada’s Parliamentary Green Light and the CFL

After receiving parliamentary approval in mid-February there is no escaping that single-event sports betting is soon to be completely legal in Canada! It is undoubtedly a positive move for both Canada’s sports bettors and the sports betting industry.

Aside from all the legal ramifications now and down the line the passing of the bill gives rise to many immediate questions! In what areas and in how many unpredicted ways it will affect the CFL? More specifically, what positives can we expect and how will it change the way we experience the game in the future?

Read on as we investigate and ruminate on some of the factual likelihoods.

Potential Positives

Innovating CFL Revenue Streams – The health of CFL is primarily dependent on attendance volumes which drives the gate sales figures for its economic survival. Yes, the CFL derives significant incomes from other sources but figures show fan numbers in stadium seats remain its principal lifeline. The legalization of single-event sports betting could completely change and diversify available opportunities for raising additional CFL incomes.

Compared to other generations, Millennials spend larger proportions of their time at CFL matches distracted by their smartphones. Why not use this to the advantage of both parties? In-stadium the CFL could use mobile phones to capture a significant proportion of Millennial attention by featuring attractive interactive promotional services. Available only to game attendees these could offer opportunities to receive exclusive special bonuses, or place certain bets or bet types only in-stadium via mobile or offer improved odds.

According to the CGA the Canadian sports market currently loses an approximate C$14 billion in annual grey-market cross-border wagers to international off-shore operators like Bet365. The passing of Bill C-13 will minimize the siphoning of local revenues into foreign markets and instead keep the spending local to the benefit of the CFL and the Canadian sports market as a whole.

Modernisation Opportunities for the CFL – If the CFL utilizes each of these new opportunities to its fullest it could completely change the way Canadians perceive and experience games. Enough so to completely renovate the financial landscape of a struggling league, leaving it with sufficient surplus funding to modernize the CFL.

More than one influential person in the league approaches these issues with a positive perception. A few knowledgeable vocal advocates state that the proposed legislation could modernize Canada’s sports betting industry if correctly utilized.

New Horizons for Residents

Aside from all the potential benefits this new legislation may see flowing in the direction of the CFL, it could also present private individuals with an opportunity to earn a formidable income. Globally, sports betting creates multiple millions of employment opportunities at all income levels while still able to accommodate the unique needs of both career-driven and independent individuals. Now this lucrative employment and income producing market finally opens to Canadians as well.

Around the globe sports betting enthusiasts are in it for many reasons but it is mainly the fun and excitement associated with the potential to win that remains the greatest drawcard. However, many have turned betting into an art form that developed from a serious pastime into successful, financially rewarding careers.

Although, as with any high-risk-high-reward career, achieving success requires mastering numerous key skills. Each individual must develop as many sports betting skillsets as possible to provide them with as much of an advantage as possible. A good place for beginners to start is getting a solid understanding of the basic requirements.

Potential Drawbacks

As with all major changes one cannot expect the latest amendments of the legal system to instantly provide perfect blanket protection to all from the multitude of potential pitfalls and abuse. No matter how well any new law is scrutinized prior to its enactment there are always those who seek out any potential weak, or blind spots. These miscreants use them to bend or pervert the letter of the law to better serve their own self-interests, defeating their intended purpose. In most such cases they do so to the detriment of other law-abiding citizens.

One of the main drawbacks that accompanied sports events since its earliest beginnings is substance abuse. The most common of which is the excessive consumption of alcohol at games which is also the most prevalent contributing factor when game attendees misbehave. In a recent survey supporters of quite a few popular teams have made the top ten of a list highlighting the clubs with the drunkest fans.

Naturally the competitive spirit between the different teams in the CFL reflect in the enthusiasm and attitude of their supporters. If accompanied by excessive alcohol consumption a spirit of healthy competitiveness can quickly change to manifest as unbridled aggression during moments when the game atmosphere reaches fever pitch.

It has proven extremely difficult for security and police forces to control these types of behavior. As a result, it could lead to potentially dangerous situations which may reflect badly on the CFL if painted in a negative light by the media.

Higher police presences have delivered mixed results, with the results and effectiveness directly related to how strict law enforcement is applied at games. Too lightly applied and police lose control or become ineffective. Too heavily enforced and the potential for additional stadium revenue dries-up because problem causing individuals simply shift their unacceptable activities to nearby pubs and other gathering places popular with CFL fans.

Enter Bill C-13

Opinion polls show the greater part of Canada’s population strongly supports the approval of Bill C-13. Even opponents of the bill mostly show concern for creating a safe, regulated betting environment aimed at protecting vulnerable individuals against possible exploitation.

A projection based on a detailed analysis of the market suggests within five years of the enactment of Bill C-13 Canada’s sports betting market could expand from C$500 million to a spend of approximately C$28 billion in legal wagers. If actual growth figures come in line with current projections, the country’s spectator-sports market will expand to seven times its current size within five years, delivering a new super lease of life to the CFL.

National Economy

24 US states passed reformative sportsbetting legislation during 2020 with 18 becoming fully operational. During November 2020 alone New Jersey’s recently opened market already reflected a US$ 931 million gross sports betting handle. According to Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) estimates the local sports betting market approached C$15 billion during 2020. Projected forecasts predict an additional C$110 million in annual tax revenues from the sports betting market for Ontario. This will provide significant relief in a province facing a C$38 billion annual deficit for 2020.

2020 saw Sports leaders calling for a notable change as organizations scrambled for new sources to generate much needed additional revenue during the pandemic. Between 2014 & 2018 embattled broadcasters faced a subscriber base declining from 80% to 72.5% with a commensurate resultant drop in revenues. According to expert projections, Bill C-13 looks set to not only supercharge the sportsbetting market, CFL, and broadcaster revenues, but will also bring significant additional financial benefits to many other related sectors of Canada’s economy.