We all agree that 2020 was a year that we want to put firmly behind us. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on our business, communities and families. In these early months of 2021, the impacts of the pandemic continue be present and real for those still impacted by closures, but there is a sense of optimism and hope for the year ahead.
2021 will be a pivotal year for the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) as we continue to work with both federal and provincial governments to ensure the best outcome possible for our industry as it recovers from COVID-19.
The association’s advocacy efforts will be primarily focused on sports betting and the development of iGaming regulatory model in Ontario. The CGA will continue to support Bill C-13, the federal single-event sports wagering bill, as it moves through the House to the Senate, and will provide assistance as provincial regulators decide how to best to develop their sports wagering regulatory models. Coinciding with these efforts will be the CGA’s involvement in the consultations on Ontario’s iGaming model, the CGA continue to work with the AGCO and the government of Ontario as they move ahead with a licensing model to make iGaming a reality in the province.
We have launched a new training and development program called the CGA Academy in partnership with iGaming Academy. Member and industry offers are coming soon and in the meantime, you can find more information on the CGA Academy microsite.
Our membership is growing! We are thrilled to welcome Bet Regal and Kambi to the Canadian Gaming Association. If you are interested in joining the CGA, information and application forms are available here.
Sports Betting Update
Sports betting will be a key priority for the CGA throughout 2021 as it will be a powerful tool to help the industry emerge from the impacts of COVID-19. Bill C-218, the Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Kevin Waugh, MP for Saskatoon-Grasswood, had its second reading and debate on February 5 and again benefited from all-party support. The second reading vote will be held on February 17, which will approve the bill’s referral to the House of Commons Justice Committee for hearings.
Bill C-13, the government bill, is due to have its second reading and debate on February 19.
Paul Burns, President & CEO, CGA, and Mr. Waugh were quoted in an article in the Financial Post on how Canada has never been closer to legalizing single-event sports betting.
We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the two bills.
Regulatory Innovation Committee Moving On to Sport and Event Wagering Standards
The CGA’s Regulatory Innovation Committee developed regulatory standards for cashless wagering (Standards for Cashless Systems) in land-based Canadian casinos in 2020, which are now available for implementation across Canada. A copy of the standards can be dowloaded on our website. The committee has moved on to sport and event wagering standards in anticipation of the legalization of single-event sports wagering.
Given that only parlay-style wagers are legal in Canada, there is a need to address issues that will be specific to the implementation of sport and event wagering standards such as match fixing/integrity of data, sharing data across jurisdictional lines, and marketing and the offering of odds. The committee will be working to develop statements to append to GLI-33, which most provinces will be adopting in the months to come.
The committee includes a cross section of gaming industry representatives working with provincial gaming regulators and subject matter experts.
CGA board member Dean Ehrlich, Executive Vice President and Games Business Leader, Everi, was named one of Global Gaming Business magazine’s 25 People to Watch.
Claire Copeland, former Chair of the CGA’s Board of Directors and former CEO of Falls Management, was awarded the Order of Ontario for his business leadership contributions to Ontario.