Jan 23, 2022
Nova Scotia Weighs Its Options for Single-Game Wagers on Sports
Canada legalized single-game betting on sports last year. The new law went into effect on Aug. 27. The previous gaming laws on the books only allowed sports betting through multi-team parlays.
As part of the new legislation, instituting single-game betting was put in the hands of each individual province. The existing system for betting on sports continues to be run through government-owned lottery corporations on a province-by-province basis.
The Atlantic Lottery Corp. is the regulating body for legal sports betting and gaming in Canada’s Maritime provinces. This includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
When the law first changed, the Atlantic Lottery announced that it would be offering single-game sports betting in each of those provinces with the exception of Nova Scotia. The operating betting platform for the lottery is Pro-Line.
Heading into this year’s NFL Super Bowl on Feb. 13, as a very popular betting event in Canada, single-game wagers are still not available to Nova Scotia sports bettors. With the Atlantic Lottery and Pro-Line unable to expand single-game betting, lawmakers in this province are weighing their options.
As a spokesperson for the government, Gary Andrea released the following statement:
“This is under consideration and discussions are ongoing to help determine what approach Nova Scotia will be taking.”
To date, Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that does not have legal access to betting on single games or events. This creates an issue for provincial government officials due to continued access to offshore betting sites that are not regulated by Nova Scotia laws.
Offshore influence was also one of the main reasons why Canada amended its current sports betting laws in the first place.
The issue at hand is with Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative government. They came into power ahead of the change in Canadian law. Since there are no legal provisions for single-game betting in place, Atlantic Lottery Corp. had no choice but to leave the province off its distribution list.
Atlantic Lottery continues to work with the Nova Scotia government on a resolution. However, there is still the possibility that the province could move in a different direction.
One option would be to offer single-game betting through an existing network of casinos in the province. Mirroring Ontario as Canada’s most-populated province, Nova Scotia could opt to bring in commercial sportsbook operators to fill the current void.
As of now, government officials in the province have not given any indication as to which direction Nova Scotia may take. The easy solution would be to amend provincial laws to match the country’s updated stance on single-game sports bets.
The overall sports betting industry in Canada has already gotten a major boost from the change. This should only increase with the addition of commercial sportsbook operators in other Canadian provinces such as Ontario.
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.
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