Now that Ontario’s sports fans finally have a legal option to bet online on single-event sports with Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG), a survey by OLG’s PROLINE+ platform has found that almost two-thirds of sports bettors in the province are more likely to place a singles bet than they were before legalization.
OLG notes this has proven to be true as single-event bets account for 77 per cent of all wagers since the platform went live with its legal sports option on August 27.
In total, PROLINE+ has taken a total handle of around $6 million in bets placed since the platform went live with single-event options a few weeks ago. OLG had previously announced that more than $1 million was taken in the first five days of legal and regulated single-event sports betting in Canada.
“We’re excited to be first to market bringing Ontarians what they told us they’ve been looking for – a trustworthy, best-in-class platform that complements their sports watching experience,” said David Pridmore, OLG Chief Digital and Strategy Officer. “Since we launched our online sportsbook PROLINE+ in late August, we’ve already processed more than $6 million in bets, and we’re expecting even more interest in the platform as more sports and leagues start new seasons and as our player base continues to scale.”
The PROLINE+ survey also found that 37 per cent of bettors and 44 per cent of frequent bettors were interested in betting on novelty markets including award show results.
Ontarians also say they’re keen to bet safely using an option like PROLINE+ as it promotes responsible gambling and includes player tools and educational materials from OLG’s PlaySmart program, as well as the fact it invests proceeds in provincial priorities aimed at improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.
The survey found one in three frequent sports bettors (defined as those who bet once a week or more) in Ontario said they had a bad experience placing a bet on a grey market online app or website in the past.
Just under half of Ontario’s sports bettors place a bet at least once a month, with almost one in four wagering at least once a week. Just over a quarter of all sports bettors, and half of frequent bettors, said they bet more often during COVID-19 than before the pandemic, in part because it helped offset not being able to go to games.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- Player satisfaction: More than half of Ontario sports bettors surveyed said betting is a great source of entertainment and makes watching games more fun.
- Conversation fodder: 45 per cent of frequent bettors say that betting on sports gives them something to talk about with their friends.
- Giving back: More than half of those surveyed said they’re more likely to use PROLINE+ to bet on sports knowing that 100 per cent of the proceeds will stay in Ontario to help fund government priorities such as health care.
- Engagement: 47 per cent of frequent bettors wouldn’t watch as many games if they weren’t betting.
- COVID-19 impact: 24 per cent of those surveyed said they will attend more sports games in the next 12 months than before the pandemic, and 27 per cent of those surveyed said betting on their favourite team during COVID-19 helped off-set the fact that they couldn’t go to games.
OLG launched PROLINE+ on August 27, the same day that Bill C-218 came into effect to legalise regulated single-event betting in Canada.
For now, they hold a monopoly in Ontario, but private operators interested in obtaining an online gaming license are now able to prepare applications to register to operate through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The AGCO earlier this month released its iGaming sports and event betting regulatory standards for the province’s market.