How will the safe and regulated sports betting act impact Montrealers?

sports betting act

On the 27th of August 2021, Bill C-218, known better now as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act received Royal Assent, allowing all Canadian provinces to formulate their own laws surrounding online and retail sports betting and gambling. The question on many people’s minds however, is how this new gambling landscape will influence bettors in Montreal.

Quebec was one of the first provinces, along with Ontario, to implement single game sports betting as part of their provincial sports lottery product. On the same day as Bill C-218 received Royal Assent, Mise-o-jeu+ was launched as part of Loto Quebec’s sports lottery product, freeing bettors from having to only bet on parlays.

While all eyes are on Ontario as of now from a betting perspective, Quebec remains of huge interest to international online betting operators, as the province is the next in line in terms of a population perspective, as well as an overall betting interest perspective. Online traffic from Canadian sportsbooks such as Sports Interaction and truenorth.bet show that Quebec, with Montreal in particular, houses many a keen bettor.

But what impact will this have on Montrealers? Will we see an influx of US betting operators, similar to what is looking likely for Ontario? With the majority of those living in Quebec speaking French exclusively, will we see more French operators looking to take advantage of the new system of decision making?

The truth is, for now, all we can do is speculate. As it stands, offshore bookmakers are available to Montrealers, but not all of these bookmakers have their products available in French, which disables the majority of those living in Quebec from getting the most out of these products.

While Mise-o-jeu is available to all those residing in Quebec, the value, and options available on provincial sports lotteries in Canada simply cannot compete with the likes of the international brands, largely leading to many Canadians, to look for these offshore alternatives.

The truth is that the sports betting sites that are largely available in Quebec do not, for the most part, prioritise people from Quebec, so will we see more bookmakers from the area popping up? The questions are endless and the answers remain highly unclear.

The impact however is that Montrealers, along with everybody in Quebec can have one of two things happen. Either, they will only have access to Mise-o-Jeu, and other Canadian bookmakers that have managed to acquire first nations licenses, like Sports Interaction and truenorth.bet, or we will see more operators entering the mix. The only issue is whether these operators will be a good fit for people living in Quebec.

Right now, now one has answers, and those closest to having any answers are playing their cards very close to the chest. Can we glean from the speed of implementing single game betting, that Quebec is on the same wavelength as Ontario in terms of being very open to issuing their own licenses and allowing more bookmakers to set up in their province?

All we can do is wait and see.

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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