Canadian Heritage said gambling has grown in Canada under a 2021 cabinet bill that legalized bookmaking, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “Since the decriminalization of single-sport betting in Canada in 2021, there has been a significant increase in the number of Canadians making bets as well as an increase in the ways in which they can access online betting platforms,” said Canadian Heritage in a briefing note. “Gaps in the current regulatory approach in Canada allow for numerous illegal offshore gambling operations in the country and the potential for illegal influencing of the outcomes of sports competitions.”With illegal sport betting and related activities influencing the outcome of sports, Canadian Heritage said they pose a real risk to Canadians and can erode confidence in their integrity. It added Parliament was “currently limited in its ability to prosecute match fixing, as there are no specific provisions in the Criminal Code that prevent such activity.”Parliament passed Bill C-18 in 2021 to repeal a 19th century ban on single-event sports betting. Bill C-18 set no limit on wagering. Cabinet argued Bill C-18 would turn bookmaking into a safe, regulated activity. Canadian Heritage said it did not work. “Online illegal sport betting has expanded because of the massive growth in internet use, the globalization of sports viewing and the consequent popularity of betting on sports in countries with limited legal gambling industries,” it said. “Since the decriminalization of single-sport betting in Canada in 2021, advertisements for online gambling and sport betting, particularly during the broadcast of live events, has increased exponentially.”Canadian Heritage did not cite figures on the scope of legal or black market bookmaking in Canada. “The results serve as an important baseline of gambling behaviour in Canada, permitting future monitoring of changes in gambling behaviour over time and as a result of the new legislation,” it said. Statistics Canada determined in 2022 the vast majority of Canadians have never placed a sports bet, limiting their gambling to lottery and raffle tickets. READ MORE: StatsCan says Canadians steering clear of sports bettingIt said a total of 92% of Canadians admit to never having placed a sports bet. Analysts compiled the figures to gauge the impact of a bill that legalized bookmaking in Canada for the first time since 1892.