The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act came into effect on August 27, and for the first time ever Canada will have legalized single-game sports betting after years of a parlay-only structure. After a lengthy legislative process, C-218 finally crossed the finish line in the Canadian Parliament in June. The passing of that bill was a landmark event comparable to the United State’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act in 2018. Canada will now legalize sports betting on a state-by-state basis just as the United States has done over the past few years.
C-218 passed in the Senate of Canada by a vote of 57-20 with five abstentions in June and each province was given the power to regulate and legalize sports betting on its own terms. The Private Member’s bill was sponsored by Saskatoon-Grasswood Conservative MP Kevin Waugh. C-218 amended the Canadian Criminal Code to remove language that previously required sports betting to be limited to multi-leg parlays rather than single events.
Paul Burns, the Canadian Gaming Association Executive Director, said that sports betting in Canada are “heading in the right direction” and he doesn’t know why the federal government “waited so long.” Burns spoke to his excitement about the recent developments, saying that “no one has to wait too long for at least some access to the products” and “it’s great to see something rolling out.”
Where Can You Bet?
The first question many Canadians will be asking today is where they can bet on sports now that single-game sports betting is legalized in the country. While major providers in the United States such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars are expected to join the party in Canada, no third-party providers are currently live with mobile sports betting offerings in the country. However, there are a number of government-owned lottery corporations that will become the first place for single-game wagers in Canada.
- Ontario: launching PROLINE+ through the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation
- Quebec: Loto-Quebec will be offering single-game betting online through the corporation’s “Mise-o-jeu” game
- British Columbia: the British Columbia Lottery Corporation will be launching a PlayNow website on August 27
- Manitoba: the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation PlayNow website also launched on August 27
- Atlantic Region: the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, owned by Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island launched single-game betting in select locations through its PROLINE game
- Alberta: plans to offer single-game sports betting through PlayAlberta.ca later this year
Ontario the Big-Ticket Market
Now that single-game sports betting has been legalized and launched in Canada, expect Ontario to see a ton of action from hopeful license holders. Ontario has a population of about 14.6 million people, making it the largest Canadian province; it would be the fifth-largest state in the US by population. There are currently 24 retail gaming facilities in Ontario including a Caesars in Windsor. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation launched PROLINE+ on August 27 for single-game sports betting through the government website.
Tony Bitoni, an Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation spokesperson spoke about the exciting PROLINE+ offerings. “PROLINE+ will offer expansive betting options with new sports, new markets, and new ways to bet including live wagering with dynamic odds,” Bitoni said. “We will deliver an exciting digital sports experience with betting innovations rolling out over the coming weeks and months, including novelty bets which will be phased in after launch.”