Ontario passes C$1m in handle in first week of legal single-event betting in Canada

The Canadian province of Ontario saw wagering handle surpass the C$1m mark in the first week of legal single-event sports wagering in Canada.

This comes after single-event sports wagering became legal in Canada on 27 August 2021.

Ontario’s figures

According to a statement from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) on 1 September, the provincial lottery took more than C$1m in bets over the first five days of legal single-event sports betting in Ontario.

Bettors can wager in Ontario using the OLGC’s new Proline+ online sportsbook product.

The OLGC also revealed that approximately 74% of wagers accepted through Tuesday evening were single bets.

The launch of single-event sports betting by the provincial lottery also gives the OLGC a headstart before the province opens up to commercial operators in the coming months.

Dave Pridmore, OLG Chief Digital and Strategy Officer said: “Ontario bettors had been waiting for a best-in-class option to place bets and that’s exactly what OLG has delivered with PROLINE+.

“This product is competitive and exciting and players are seeing that. We’re experiencing excellent engagement with those who registered early, and we only expect to see the number of new users increase as word about PROLINE+ continues to spread, particularly as the American football season gets underway next week.”

Although Canadians have been able to legally wager on parlay bets, bettors have been unable to wager on single events. However, in June, the passage of Bill C-218 decriminalised single-event wagering.

Single-event sports betting in Canada

Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, legalised single-event sports betting in Canada by repealing paragraph 207(4)(b) of Canada’s Criminal Code to permit single-event sports betting. 

Up until now, sports betting in Canada was only legal via parlay wagering, this meant that it was illegal to place a wager on an individual event. 

The journey towards legalising single-event sports wagering in Canada began more than a decade ago, however, the most recent effort only started last year.

In February 2020, House of Commons MP Kevin Waugh introduced bill C-218 to the legislature. Then in November, the bill was picked up by the Canadian government.

After several readings and debates, the bill cleared the Senate and received Royal Assent in June 2022.

On 27 August, Bill C-218 came into effect, paving the way for Canada’s provincial lotteries to begin offering single-event wagering. The delay between the passage of the bill and the date it came into effect created an opportunity for more sports betting options to prepare for launch. 

Private operators have yet to enter the market, however, several provinces, including Ontario, plan to have fully open sports betting markets in place by the end of the year.