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Canada’s Legal Sports Betting Handle Grows With Single-Event Wagers

 
US Sportsbooks · Bonus Codes · Betting News · Special Update
November 7, 2021
Dave Schwab
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
VegasInsider.com

Prior to Aug. 27 of this year, the only legal way to bet on sports in Canada was through multi-team parlays. A change in the law paved the way for legal single-game wagers heading into September.

The means to implement these changes were left up to each of the individual Canadian provinces. A central lottery system for online gaming was already in place. However, making the change over to single-game wagers has not been automatic across the country.

British Columbia has proven to be one of the more progressive provinces when it came to instituting this change. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has taken in $25 million in single-event sports bets over the past two months.



The BCLC works through PlayNow.com as its sports betting and gaming platform. In a written statement, BCLC’s interim president and CEO Lynda Cavanaugh commented:

“This is a significant milestone for BCLC that demonstrates further how PlayNow.com is well positioned to provide highly entertaining and engaging sports betting in a safe and secure environment.
It’s important for players to know that playing with BCLC supports the success of British Columbia, as PlayNow.com is the only legal gambling website from which revenue supports important provincial initiatives, including health care and education.”

Since the law first went into effect, betting on individual NFL games has been the biggest draw. The number of wagers on NFL games has increased 97% as compared to the first seven weeks of last season.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the New England Patriots, 69% of the bets were single-game wagers. It was also noted that 80% of the money wagered on that game was in the form of a single-game bet.

The start of the new NHL season has also provided a big boost to BCLC’s PlayNow.com sports betting handle. Wagers on NHL games increased by 71% over last year. This covers the first 19 days of the season as compared to last year.

The issue at hand is getting all of Canada’s provinces up to speed. Ontario remains the prime legal betting market. As the most populated province in the country, Ontario is also taking a very progressive approach to legal sports betting.

As opposed to running everything through a central lottery system, gaming officials are opening up the market to commercial operators.

This has piqued the interest of major US sportsbook operators such as FanDuel. Former Rogers Communications executive Dan Hooper has taken over the reins at that company covering its business operations in Canada.

NorthStar Gaming has plans to launch an online sports betting site and mobile betting app in Ontario. Michael Moskowitz has been named CEO and founding partner.

PointsBet Canada recently became the official betting partner of Curling Canada, as another highly popular betting sport in the country. Another Canadian sportsbook operator, theScore Bet has become the official gaming partner of GolfCanada.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.