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Canadian gaming lawyer Chantal A. Cipriano: “Prohibitions don’t work”

Chantal Cipriano Canadian lawyer

As we celebrate one year since the PASPA repeal and we see new states introduce sports betting every month, what about Canada? Is it time our northern neighbor follow suit and start regulating sports betting too? Chantal A. Cipriano, a lawyer with Dickinson Wright in Toronto, thinks it’s about time.

About Chantal A. Cipriano 

Chantal A. Cipriano provides strategic legal advice to clients in highly regulated industries. Her practice primarily focuses on advising gaming clients of the requirements related to licensing, compliance and governance, and risk mitigation. Chantal has advised clients such as Internet gaming operators, gaming suppliers,  payment processors, advertisers, affiliate marketers, and technology companies, to name a few. In addition, she is a frequent author of gaming publications in Canadian Gaming Lawyer Magazine, Chambers Global, and LexisNexis. She can be reached at 416-646-6864 or [email protected].

Offshore sports betting still drives a significant portion of wagers in Canada – how can regulated, onshore wagering be promoted and accepted in Canada?

I think political forces and regulators need to appreciate the impact that technology has had on the gambling landscape in Canada. Single event sports betting has been offered by offshore websites to Canadian players for quite some time and it continues to be readily available through smartphone applications. If Canada does not embrace this phenomenon, it risks continuing to lose this opportunity to other jurisdictions that offer this product.

Prohibitions don’t work. We’ve seen it with cannabis in Canada and we continue to see it with all of the grey market single event sports betting that is rampant in Canada. It’s time to embrace single event sports betting and give adults the freedom to make choices that they see fit for their lifestyles.

What similarities do you see in regards to sports betting regulation in the U.S. and Canadian sports betting markets?

Due to the lack of legalization of single event sports betting in Canada, there aren’t many similarities between the US and Canadian sports betting landscapes at this time. However, I imagine that if single event sports betting is legalized in Canada, the provinces will each take their own approach to a regulatory framework, just like various states in the US have been doing.

What do you think the future of sports betting in Canada will be and what legal considerations will the most important the coming 2-3 years?

I am optimistic that single event sports betting will become legalized in Canada so that a competitive marketplace for this sought after product can thrive. If it is legalized, one important legal consideration will be whether a provincial monopoly will continue to exist or whether an open market will be permitted for private operators. Another legal consideration will be whether online single event sports betting will be permitted and if so, whether such wagering will be linked to a land based casino.

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