Live sports betting is coming to Ontario in April 2022
In less than two weeks, Ontario will launch private sportsbooks as a legal form of gambling for the first time in the province's history. Prior to the April 4, 2022 launch date, the only legal sports gambling service in Ontario was the PROLINE+, which only offered parlay-style gambling on events.
If you love the excitement of live sports like NHL hockey or CFL football, now you can double the fun by wagering on your favourite team. There is always a team playing and a game to bet on at any given time.
With this upcoming change, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) will soon not only have a market monopoly on single event sportsbooks will likely take the mantel.
In August 2021, the government of Canada legalized sports betting at the federal level. However, it was left up to the provinces to determine how each sports booking system would be run. The Canadian decision came three years after the striking down the laws around sports betting at a federal level in the United States.
The change came following the Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association decision from the Supreme Court when New Jersey’s Governor Philip D. Murphy successfully had the laws on sports betting overturned at a federal level. Governor Murphy claimed that it was a state right, under the 10th amendment of the constitution, to determine what laws can and cannot be made regarding sports betting.
It seemed only logical that the Government of Canada would eventually follow the decision made south of the border. With most Canadians living within a one-hour drive of the U.S. border, had they not made the change, Canadians would have simply travelled south to bet on their favourite team.
Don’t plan on using sportsbooks for horse racing, though. Given the amount of revenue that horse tracks such as Woodbine Racetrack and Rideau Carleton Raceway generate through their infrastructure for other gambling activities, and the money the tracks add to the Ontario economy, the government has mandated that all horse betting must be done at an OLG track site.
When Ontario launches next month, there will be several excellent options for placing wagers on all sorts of events—from hockey to football and everything else that can be bet on. Expect some of the top apps on the market to launch from different sportsbooks, including Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, theScore, BetMGM. All of these have received official approval from the AGCO to launch in Ontario, and more are expected in the future.
On top of launching apps, many casinos are getting into the business with plans to launch retail brick-and-mortar sports betting operations within their casinos. Some of these casinos may include the Woodbine Casino, Caesars Windsor, and Casino Rama in Orillia.
Canadian sports betting regulations will also allow for betting on American sporting events, whether in events such as NASCAR races, NFL football games, American college football, Tennis, UFC fights, or any other myriad of sports that don’t have permanent operations set up in Canada.
With the market finally opening up to legal sports betting in Ontario, there will be plenty of options now to choose where you want to place a single bet rather than a parlay bet with PROLINE+. The expanding market on April 4th means that wagers will no longer have to go to the OLG for sites to gamble on, bringing the ease of private market betting systems right to your phone or perhaps your nearest casino.