A new era in the Canadian gaming business has officially started on Friday when bill C-218 came into force. The bill gives the authority to individual provinces to decide for themselves which road their sports betting industry should take.
It’s similar to what happened in the US in 2018 when Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Since then, individual states have had the power to decide whether to ban sports betting completely, make it completely legal and regulated, or do something in-between (for example, make only certain forms of betting legal).
Pretty much the same is now the case in Canada, where four provinces have already decided to make some changes. British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec have lifted the ban on single-game wagering this Friday.
Single-Game Betting Is Now Available in Canada
Canada single-game sports betting is live via every province's lottery:
– Ontario: Proline+
– Quebec: Mise-o-Jue
– BC: PlayNow
– Atlantic Provinces: Proline Stadium
– Western Provinces: Sport Select
Third-party operators (theScore, DraftKings, etc.) targeting Dec '21 launch
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) August 27, 2021
Up until Thursday, Canadian bettors had no (legal) way to place single-bets; instead, they could only bet parlays in provincial lotteries. However, starting Friday, August 27, single-game wagering is available in Canada, in four of its ten provinces.
Canadians living in those provinces can now go to their local lottery shops and put their money on single bets. People from two of those provinces, however, are now able to do it remotely. The thing is that British Colombia and Ontario have launched their online betting products.
In British Columbia, a sportsbook product was added to the lottery-run gaming website PlayNow.com, which has been online for more than 15 years.
Over in Ontario, the provincial lottery has launched an online sportsbook called ProLine+, where Canadians of legal age will be able to place bets – both parlays and singles.
What’s Next for Canada’s Most Populous Province?
With nearly 15 million residents and a shared border with several US states including New York, Ontario semes like a very lucrative market for literally any business.
The same is the case with online betting, which Ontarians haven’t been able to do in Canadian sportsbooks. Instead, Canadian bettors have been sending their money away in the direction of offshore betting sites.
However, that’s going to change soon, judging by what’s been going on recently. Ontario’s legislators are working on making online sports betting legal. It’s still unclear what kind of model will the legislation take, but the most likely scenario is that local gaming businesses will be given an advantage.
Instead of letting the provincial lottery have a monopoly over the sports betting business, Ontario might decide to go with an open market. If this scenario plays out, 24 gaming venues currently operating in the province will be given the opportunity to apply for the license.
For that to happen, they will probably have to team up with established providers of sports betting services, as is the case in many US states already.
Another province that’s expected to follow this model is Alberta. Furthermore, in Saskatchewan, the Indian Gaming Authority is in charge of everything betting-related.
It’s rumored that they’re looking to go with a model in which tribal casinos would team up with established commercial sportsbooks (like bet365 and similar), creating new Canada-focused brands.