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What to Expect From Ontario's Sports Betting Scene in 2022
Before the Canadian parliament voted to legalize single-game sports bets, residents could only partake legally in parlay betting. The only legal sports betting markets available were games within the main four pro sports leagues, some soccer, CFL, college football and basketball. This isn’t the case now as Ontarians can look forward to an open book when it comes to the world's sports betting markets.
The Journey so Far
In Ontario, parlay sports betting has been legal for years with the provinces’ own lottery and gaming commission offering these types of bets on a small range of sports. But when it comes to single-game wagering, the waters were a little murkier. Whereas it wasn’t explicitly legal in Canada, it wasn’t 100% illegal either. Many well-known online sportsbooks permitted Canadians to join and place bets at their offshore sites. These platforms have never been prosecuted for doing so, nor have sportsbook bettors.
On August 27th, 2021 the Parliament of Canada passed the C-218, changing federal law and giving power to each province to make single-game wagering legal. Ontario has always been tipped to be the first province to permit single-game sports wagering and they did so with one provision. That Proline Plus (the sportsbook arm of Proline) would be given the first opportunity to be Ontario's sole sportsbook operator offering single-game betting. Even though the available markets and odds were not amazing, bettors still signed up in their droves, safe in the knowledge that their bets were now legal.
It has always been a given that Ontario would legalize sports betting and become a competitive market, but the exact timeframe was once anyone's guess. Proline+ had the exclusive rights for a couple of months before the Ontario government announced that all sportsbooks could legally operate in the province from April 4th 2022. Applications are currently being processed by Ontario regulators and already several licences have been granted ready for April.
Why the Delay?
This process hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for Ontario. The province's auditors compiled a report to state that the framework for sports betting is wide-open to legal issues. This relates to iGaming Ontario complying with Ontario’s Criminal Code and the general wording of the code.
A report was also compiled to suggest that the move towards online sportsbooks could result in significant losses of jobs and revenue in the province. Whilst Great Canadian Gaming rallied for plans to be scrapped altogether. The group owns and operates 12 brick-and-mortar casinos in Ontario and would prefer legal sports betting to take place within their premises.
What Does This Mean for Ontario Sports Bettors?
Ontarians in the past have been incredibly limited with how and who they can place legal sports wagers on. The legalization of the market has brought about massive changes for Ontario sports bettors. Whilst until April, Proline+ is the only option but after this, we will see the world giants of sportsbook enter the arena. With punters no longer having to bet on an unregulated market with payouts that have never been 100% legal.
As the list of legal sports operators in Ontario expands, so will the choices for Ontarians. Available sports will be limitless and competition will be high - so expect some great odds. The move will enable better prices for bettors as well as safe payments, huge bonuses, free bets, rewards programmes and more. All within a safe, legal and regulated framework and available on either mobile devices or desktops. For more information on the future of gambling and sports in Ontario and Canada, visit our Canadian Online Gambling guide.
Top 6 Online Sportsbooks in Ontario 2022
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