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Meanwhile, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is looking to get in on the sports betting action as they search for a partner to help expand online and mobile sports betting in the Canadian province.
Sports Betting to grow in Ontario
Canada is one of the stricter gaming countries. As a result, the recent announcement by the OLG is completely unexpected as the Province is on the precipice of legalising online betting.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is on the lookout for investors to assist in its online Sports Betting campaign, which appears to indicate that the OLG is gearing up for big expansions. News has it that the OLG is also open to looking at eSports and novelty betting opportunities.
The focus of the OLG Expansion
The OLG expansion is mostly aimed on sports betting, however, it will also provide gamblers with the opportunity to place wagers during live games. This is new brand offering, previously not offered by OLG. OLG is planning on introducing new products to provide a wider range of betting options for an increased diversity of events. This should include a range of major international sports and Northern American sports leagues. It is anticipated that the development will coincide with OLG’s strategy to substitute and update trade lottery depots across the Province.
Since the recent implementation of the procurement process. The OLG is unable to provide an exact cost of the expansion and when precisely the launch may take place. OLG expects to choose a company to assist them in updating their sports betting provisions in the venture prior to the fall of 2018.
Ontario will seek a merger with four other jurisdictions in Canada that are currently focused on eSports, novelty betting and online sports. Those jurisdictions include British Columbia, Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador), Manitoba and Quebec.
What the Other Jurisdictions Currently Offer
Based on the UK betting shop model, players have the choice between a wide variety of novelty wagers in Manitoba and British Columbia. The topics vary from predicting a probable Trump impeachment, the date of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding and the birth of their first child, odds on an Oprah Winfrey vs Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Democratic Presidential nomination run-off, through to the amount that the new Star Wars movie will finally accumulate at the box office or which actor will play James Bond in the next 007 release.
The Atlantic Lottery Company in Atlantic Canada has recently introduced a mobile device App which allows online players access to games and to obtain personalised and custom alerts and notifications.
Currently in Canada, most sports betting punters favour NHL hockey betting and thousands of hockey fans place bets at top-ranked bookmakers. The new OLG expansion will add in-game sports betting to the existing options already available. Of course, Canadians can always use existing options like our recommended sportsbooks (that also have online casinos for your gaming convenience) such as 888 Casino, Betway, William Hill and Bet365.
Ontario Government looks to modernise and make gaming safer
Ontario Finance Minister, Charles Sousa has advised the Provincial Government supports OLG’s online expansion but has expressed his concern that it must continue to prioritise responsible gaming in its citizens.
Sousa said: “We’ve been looking at the modernisation strategy, we’re looking at expanding and protecting consumer activity. The situation is that a lot of online [gambling] activity occurs that is unregulated and many people are exposed, especially young kids.”
“In my capacity I have a duty of social responsibility here. I also have to ensure that we re-invest in things that will help people with addiction.” Sousa added.
The local government’s approval is seemingly based on financial gain and economic growth. With more than $2.3 billion of revenue accrued annually, the OLG provides the Ontario Government with its largest source of non-tax revenue.
Various studies and researchers have revealed that traditional gambling and lotteries are fading as the world embraces virtual and online options. The days of travelling to enjoy casino games are almost gone and the majority of people are enjoying the convenience offered by online and mobile gaming. It is clear that OLG Sports Betting expansion could conceivably bring in huge profits and create a number of jobs in the high-tech sector.
The OLG Point of View
OLG spokesman Tony Bitonti replied to Sousa noting: “OLG sports offering will include new products that will provide more betting options on a wider variety of events, including all major North American sports leagues and major international sports”. He stated that it is “too early to determine the outcome of the final product”, but stated that there are other jurisdictions that allow gamblers to make novelty and eSports bets.
He further said that: “In the past few years betting on eSports raised in popularity. There are a number of eSport tournaments taking place each year.” He explained that: “Novelty betting is making a bet on an outcome that is not a part of sports or athletic events.”
He also correctly noted that the online expansion coincides with OLG’s plan to replace and update retail lottery terminals across the province.
The continuing rise-and-rise of the online sports betting industry in Canada can only benefit the gaming industry and players alike.
Happy 2018 and Good Sports Betting!