Ontario Took $1M in First Few Days of Legal Single-Event Sports Betting
September 2, 2021
In the first five days of legal and regulated single-event sports betting in Canada, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) handled more than $1 million across Ontario.
An OLG media release states that of all wagers placed on the new PROLINE+ online sportsbook, which is powered by FDJ Gaming Solutions, approximately 74 per cent were single-event bets. Customers have been taking advantage of in-play options, too, with 37 per cent of the bets placed while the games were in progress.
“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, in a statement. “This product is competitive and exciting and players are seeing that.”
The launch of single-event betting by the provincial lottery gives the OLG a headstart before Ontario opens the iGaming market to private operators in the coming months.
Ontario's strong advertising push ahead of the launch has spurred the OLG to its early success, Canadian Gaming Association President & CEO Paul Burns told Sports Handle. "PROLINE+ is a brand that OLG has had for years, with good customer loyalty — those customers until now all had to go to a retail lottery location, so they now have an online outlet."
Indeed, provincial lotteries' willingness to spend heavily on marketing could differentiate an operator’s ability to acquire and retain customers as the Canadian market expands.
Meanwhile, over in British Columbia, 1,208 new players in B.C. registered for accounts on PlayNow.com within the first five days. As a result, PlayNow experienced a 96 per cent increase in the number of wagers and a 72 per cent increase in the amount of money wagered compared to the previous weekend, a British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) spokesman told Sports Handle. 41 per cent of last weekend’s wagers and 53.5 per cent of the money wagered was on single games.
Over the last five years, BCLC estimates it lost as much as $250 million in revenue from customers who placed bets on offshore unregulated sports betting sites. Canadians wager about US$14 billion (in American dollars) on single-event sports annually, according to research.
BCLC's PLayNow offering is powered by Scientific Games' OpenSports system, as are those of Loto-Quebec and Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) has also gone live through Play Alberta.
RELATED: Provinces Hit the Ground Running from Aug. 27 as Commercial Sportsbooks Wait for Entry
However, as of Sept. 1, only Ontario has announced plans to launch a private market for singles, Burns noted. A delayed rollout in other provinces could give the lottery corporations a considerable first-mover advantage in building player databases.
“On future rollouts, Ontario is the only province that has firm plans to invite private operated sportsbooks into the market; others are evaluating or are unlikely at this point,” Burns said. “We are eager to see casinos have access to retail sportsbooks as soon as possible, but there is nothing firm on that front yet.”