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Bill S-269: A Proposed National Framework on Sports Betting Ads Is Underway

Ever since Canada’s biggest legal reforms for iGaming have come into force in the last few years — Ontario’s regulated iGaming regime launched on April 4, 2022 and single-event sports betting became legalized on August 27, 2021 – decision-makers and industry stake-holders alike have been watching how these legal reforms play out. While there have been many positive outcomes already reported, including more robust harm reduction and significant financial benefits, Canadians have also been providing feedback on how many feel that sports betting advertising has become over-saturated during broadcasts of sporting events.

In response to this, a proposed national framework on sports betting ads is making its way through the legislative process. Bill S-269, titled “An Act respecting a national framework on advertising for sports betting”, has been put forward as a potential response to help develop and further regulate advertising for sports betting in Canada. The Bill’s preamble notes that “non-standardized approaches have been adopted across the country for sports betting”, and that “Parliament recognizes the need for a reasonable and standardized approach across Canada to reduce the incidence and risk of harm”.

Senator Marty Deacon of Ontario, who proposed the legislation, has been involved in Canadian sports since the 1990s. She says that creating a national framework such as the one proposed in Bill S-269 would help regulate what she describes as “a really big torrent of advertising and promotions that is coming out in great, great quantities for all ages and on a regular and daily basis”[1].

The Bill has already passed first reading as of June 20, 2023.

Bill S-269: A Proposed National Framework on Sports Betting Ads Is Underway - main featured featured

National Framework on Advertising for Sports betting

The Bill’s proposed rules on a mandatory national framework on advertising for sports betting include identifying measures that regulated sports betting ads “with a view to restricting the use of such advertising”. It proposes limiting the number, scope or location of sports betting ads, or limiting or even banning the use of celebrities and athletes in sports betting ads. It also proposes identifying ways to promote support and research related to gambling-related harms.

In order to develop the national framework, Bill S-269 proposes that mandatory consultations take place with ministers that have “relevant responsibilities”, including the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Indigenous Services among others listed. Other mandatory consultations proposed are with representatives of the provincial and territorial governments, relevant stakeholders, Indigenous communities, provincial gaming regulators, individuals and organizations associated with sports and ethics, and any other person or entity considered appropriate.

Reports to Parliament and Commission Review of Regulations and Policies

Given that this Bill is proposing the first national sports betting ads framework of its kind, it makes sense that careful monitoring and feedback be built into the legislation. To do so, the Bill outlines numerous mandatory reports.

The Bill proposes that within one year after it comes into force (if that happens), the Minister prepare a report for both the national framework and a strategy for implementing that framework, that the report be tabled before Parliament, and then it be published online. Another report is also proposed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the new standardized regulations and their impact within five years of the first report being tabled in Parliament.

Finally, the Bill also allows for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to review its regulations and policies and then provide a report on its findings. Specifically, this review is to evaluate the effectiveness of those policies in “reducing the incidence of harms resulting from the proliferation of advertising for sports betting”.

Further Gaming Legalization and Regulation are Canada’s Future

As we’ve said before, better regulations lead to better outcomes. Canada’s legal gaming regime is playing catch-up with other jurisdictions when it comes to legalizing and regulating gaming in this country. In order to better protect consumers and grow the economy, it’s a win-win in order for Canadians whenever legal reforms allow for sensible and gaming regulations as opposed to a “wild west” unregulated approach. While we agree that there is “the need for a reasonable and standardized approach across Canada to reduce the incidence and risk of harm”, we won’t know what to expect from a national framework like the one proposed in Bill S-269 until we have further details.

If you have questions about the Bill or would like to discuss how these changes may impact your business, we would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to visit our Vancouver offices, contact us at 604-629-5400 or via 


***The above blog post is provided for informational purposes only and has not been tailored to your specific circumstances. This blog post does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice and may not be relied upon as such.**