Nova Scotia still weighing up sports betting

Five months on from the enacting of Bill C-218 to legalize single-event sports betting across Canada, Nova Scotia is still assessing how best to roll out that new market.

When the announcement was made on August 27, 2021, Atlantic Lottery Corporation declared it would be offering singles bets in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. But not in Nova Scotia.

That province is one of the shareholders in the Atlantic Lottery but was not included in the jurisdictions that the company said would offer single-game wagering under its ProLine brand. By late January 2022, that has not changed, and Nova Scotia is currently the only of Canada’s 10 provinces without a legal channel for single-event sports betting.

That is causing issues, not least the fact that the province’s residents are looking elsewhere — to the grey market and offshore sites — to place the kind of bets that gamblers all across Canada can place legally with their jurisdictions.

The province continues to weigh up how best to resolve the matter. Provincial government spokesperson Gary Andrea recently told Covers that discussions are ongoing to help determine what approach Nova Scotia will be taking. A further complication has come from the fact that a new Progressive Conservative government was elected in Nova Scotia just weeks before Bill C-218 was enacted.

The sum total of all of this is that while Ontario and other provinces have plans in motion for opening up their existing lottery-run sports betting markets and the single-event betting opportunities within to private operators, Nova Scotians have no legal avenue whatsoever.

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