Canuck sports bettors have been saddled with government regulated sports lotteries since 1976. The operators vary from province to province but they all follow the same model when you examine the rates of return, betting options, and wager permission structures. Canadian sports lotteries have long been called out for their unfair betting practices – especially compared to those at the top ranked online sportsbooks.
*** It should be pointed out that Canada’s provincial sports betting lotteries fall far short of offering the best wagering experience to sports handicappers in the Great White North.
Provincial sports betting schemes, they identify them as schemes right in the legal section on their various websites, hamstring sports bettors in Canada. Limited sports coverage, less than sharp odds, the inconvenience of heading to a store to purchase tickets, plus the dreaded three-bet wagering requirements, all back up our disclaimer above. Below we review the sports lottery offerings from coast-to-coast with an eye on how they stack up to the best sportsbooks available online today.
Lotteries In Canada
Government controlled sports lotteries spread from sea to shining sea in Canada. Whether you’re in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, playing ACL ProLine Stadium games, or you hang your hat in Victoria, British Columbia, and bet on BCLC PlayNow contests, here is a preview of the lotteries in Canada.
ALC PROLINE STADIUM
Established in 1976, the Atlantic Lottery Commission introduced ALC PROLINE STADIUM sports betting in 2004. To wager on any of the four sports wagering platforms, bettors must be residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Compared to other Canucks – Atlantic Canada sports bettors have it pretty good.
One of the more progressive provincial sports lottery set-ups in Canada, the Pro-Line Stadium structure consists of Pro-Line, Pro-Line Fantasy, Pro-Line Futures and Stadium Bets platforms. Pro-Line offers money lines, game totals, plus point spread options and bettors are required to select between two and eight contests on each ticket. Pro-Line Fantasy is similar to online player prop betting and each ticket requires two to five wagers. Close to futures wagering options available at top online sportsbooks like Bodog, Pro-Line Futures is the only “single bet” option available at the ALC. Finally, Stadium Bets are the same as Pro-Line except the option of selecting a “TIE” is removed. Sports wagering fans in Atlantic Canada can place their wagers online or at local retailers. The ALC has a ways to go – but this is a good start.
As the birthplace of Canuck lotteries, after Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau introduced a $2.00 “voluntary tax” lottery in 1968, the Province of Quebec has always been a trailblazer of the gambling path in Canada. This holds true with sports betting options in La belle province as the Loto-Quebec Mise-O-Jeu is one of the more refined wagering platforms in Canada.
Controlled by the Quebec government, the Espacejeux (Play Area) website was launched in 2010. Available to residents of Quebec only, Espacejeux offers sports and poker betting plus table games, slot machines and EZ Games. Following the Canada-wide sports lottery model, Loto-Quebec Mise-O-Jeu schemes require bettors to select a minimum two-team parlay with every wager placed. The all-encompassing Mise-O-Jeu offers a vast array of sports gambling options but, in addition to the lack of single bets, they also add “TIE” odds requiring players to select from three prices on most contests. Also, the lines at Mise-O-Jeu pale in comparison to the odds offered at top online sportsbooks. Though much better than what’s available in Ontario and Western Canada – the sports betting offers in Quebec still favour the house.
Founded in 1975, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation delivers OLG PROLINE sports betting to residents of Ontario who are 19 years old or older. Although it’s been promised for years, the Ontario government is still tinkering with their PlayOLG wagering platform. Casino games are in place and they’re hinting that online sports betting will be available soon.
Slightly behind the WCLC, as the worst sports betting providers in Canada, the OLG PROLINE platform includes Pro-Line, Pools, Props and Point-Spread betting options. Pro-Line schemes are one of the worst gambling choices on the planet as players are forced to pick one of five lines and bet three to six games. Pools are a daily game where bettors select the winner of up to 16 games, without spreads, and each sport has its own card. All of the entries are pooled and cards with the most correct picks split the prize pool. With Point-Spread, players select two or more games (up to 12) with a point spread and every ticket is a parlay wager. Props require selecting three to six player performance outcomes and each sport has a separate card. Bottom line – the odds are stacked in the OLG’s favour with all of these offerings.
WCLC SPORTS SELECT
Whether it’s due to six Provinces and Territories all needing to get along, or the current feeding trough being just fine, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation is a sports betting relic. Tight fists from six jurisdictions control WCLC Sports Select which is offered to residents of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, plus the Northwest, Nunavut and Yukon.
Hey WCLC Sports Select, pre-industrial America just called and laughed at your antiquated “Wild West” ways. Delivering the worst sports betting platform in Canada, and possibly on the planet, the WCLC offers Props, Pools, Point-Spread and Pro-Line options. WCLC Props offer head-to-head player wagers that have a “TIE” option to suck in the desperate. Pools is a daily communal option where bettors pick every game straight up for a specific sport and the card(s) with the most wins take the pot. There aren’t any ties in the Point Spread option but bettors still need to select between three and six contests in this parlay-picking format. Pro-Line adds the “TIE” option to complicate things and further give the house a huge edge. Try as we might, we can find any hint that online wagering is heading to the Western Provinces anytime soon. Online sports wagering totally trumps the WCLC Sports Select betting option.
Introduced by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in 2004, BCLC PlayNow added their sports betting platform in 2012. With many factors considered, residents of British Columbia have access to the best betting action in Canada. However, the parlay wagering model BCLC PlayNow offers pushes this product below high quality level offered by online bookmakers.
Following “God first created BC, then sprinkled what he had left over the rest of Canada” folklore, British Columbia leads the pack when it comes to gambling in Canada. BC is a high tech province and that shows in the progressive nature of the BCLC PlayNow platform. It’s not a stretch to say BC bettors get everything online sportsbooks offer – except single game bets and horse racing action. The added “TIE” odds tilts the table in favour of the house but BCLC PlayNow offers a full suite of sports and entertainment gambling options. That includes competitive odds, high limits, plus novelty and futures bets where ties are eliminated and players are allowed to make a single wager. Mirroring some of the online offers, the BCLC recognizes player loyalty with various rewards including Mobile and Bet-Back bonuses.
Provincial Lotteries In Canada
When it comes to the Offshore Sports Betting vs. Canadian Sports Lotteries debate – established online sportsbooks consistently win the battle. From single bet wagering options, to vast amounts of betting choices, as well as convenience and ease of play, bettors get more bang for their buck at top rated online bookmakers. Here is out list of the best of the best in the sportsbook industry.
There are key differences between provincial sports lotteries and the offshore sportsbook industry and what drives them matters. The online sports betting landscape is packed with competition and top bookmakers understand that they need to be user friendly, deliver a wide variety of quality products and respect their valued clients. As part of a complete package, handicappers receive sharp wagering lines with reasonable prices, a LIVE betting platform, simple account registration plus a secure bankroll funding environment. Bonus offers, valuable “pay for play” rewards and quality customer care, are bows that wrap the package. Top online bookmakers, like Canadian trailblazing legend Bodog, have been delivering a quality betting experience for decades now.
On the other side of the fence, two words sum up what bettors can expect from provincial sports lottery schemes – Government Control. Please don’t view us as anti-government; we realize it’s a necessary evil. Anyone who has dealt with bureaucrats understands that service is not their strong suit. In most instances, “it’s our way or the highway” prevails and that’s the case with their sports betting offers. While some provinces are more “evolved” than others, as long as two-bet minimums and HOME – TIE – VISITOR odds exist, provincial sports lotteries will always be a bad bet. Both of those stipulations tilt the odds away from bettors in Canada from coast-to-coast. Look to the online betting landscape, where the grass truly is greener, for the very best sports wagering experiences.