Ontario Handles Over $1 Million During Canada’s First Week
Ontario handled more than $1 million in wagers during the first week that single sports betting was offered in Canada.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) launched Proline+, the province’s first online and mobile sports betting app, on Aug. 27 to coincide with the launch of legal licensed and regulated sports betting within the country.
The OLG has already processed more than $1 million in Ontario sports betting. Approximately 74% of all wagers handled were single sports bets.
“Ontario bettors had been waiting for a best-in-class option to place bets and that’s exactly what OLG has delivered with Proline+,” said Dave Pridmore, OLG chief digital and strategy officer. “This product is competitive and exciting and players are seeing that.”
Baseball, In-Play Proving Popular
The OLG is witnessing strong action with baseball betting and on in-play wagering during Week 1 of single sports betting offering.
The very first bet in the history of Proline+ was a wager on a Minnesota Twins-Milwaukee Brewers American League baseball game. Since then, nearly 82% of all wagers in the province have been placed on MLB games. As well, almost 37% of all action taken on baseball has proven to be on in-play wagers.
“We’re experiencing excellent engagement with those who registered early, and we only expect to see the number of new users increase as word about Proline+ continues to spread, particularly as the American football season gets underway next week,” Pridmore said.
NFL betting should be popular as the season kicks off on Sept. 9.
More To Be Done, Critics Say
In what would best be described as a soft launch, there’s been little fanfare anywhere in the country as the long-awaited opportunity to place single-event wagers on sporting events in Canada finally came to fruition on Aug. 27.
Week 1 of single sports betting in Canada was only offered entirely by the same provincial government agencies that were the overseers of the parlay wager style of sports betting that had been offered in Canada since the 1990s.
Instead of diving in with both feet, Canada is opting to dip its toes into the waters of single sports betting. Critics believe that by dragging its feet on creating a free market of betting sites, the Canadian government is losing out on millions and perhaps billions of dollars in revenue.
“There’s more work to be done,” NDP MP Brian Masse said during a press conference held in front of Caesars Windsor Casino. Masse was a driving force behind the legalization of single sports betting in the country.
Canada's casinos are among the industries eager to capitalize on the opportunity to offer single sports wagering.
“Our members need this to be operational now,” said Dana Dunphy of Unifor local 244, which represents Caesars Windsor workers. “We can’t wait any longer. Michigan already has single-event sports betting in place.”
Canadian racetracks are also seeking a piece of the action.
“We need to play a role in the new sports betting sector,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, Canada’s largest racetrack operation. “We are Canadian, we are non-profit.
“Our entire mandate is to support horse racing and sustain this industry and the only way we’re going to be able to do it is to participate in the sports betting sector.”
Private Sportsbooks Awaiting Word
Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia were the only provinces to launch single sports betting on Aug. 27, the first day it could be legally offered.
Canada’s Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) followed suit on August 31. The Atlantic Lottery Commission entered into an agreement with Scientific Games to provide the platform so they could offer single sports betting. Scientific Games also powers the BCLC’s PlayNow platform, as well as Quebec’s Mise-o-jeu online sports betting offering.
All of the provinces that have gone live with single sports betting are only offering wagering through their lottery corporations. Thus far, Ontario is the only province to confirm that it will eventually open up its market to private sports betting sites.
A specific date for when that will happen hasn’t been established, though.
“The best that (Ontario) Premier Doug Ford has come out with to date is to say that it might happen in December, that the province is considering doing the regulatory changes in December,” NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky told the Windsor Star. “And that is simply not good enough.”
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