Jul 23

Anticipating the launch date for legal sports betting in Canada.

FAQ & Expected Launch Date for Legal Sports Betting in Canada

Like most major countries of the world, sports is a very big deal here in Canada. We love our ice hockey, just as Brits love soccer, Australians love Aussie rules, and Americans love baseball (and basketball, and football, and boxing – I could go on.) It doesn’t have to be hockey, though. Like Americans, we Canadians are drawn all sorts of major sporting leagues, from CFL and NFL football, to NBA basketball. (Go Raptors!)

Now, like so many other major countries, Canadians will soon have a legal and locally regulated means of betting on sports. Not just low-odds parlay bets, either, but real, bettor-friendly, single-event wagers. The kinds of bets that attract genuine sports fans. We’re talking about everything from game winners and point totals, to futures and live in-play betting.

Speaking of futures, now that the government has legalized single-game betting, what’s the future look like for Canadian sports fans?

Canada Sports Betting FAQ

This FAQ will answer some of the most common questions, including how soon we can expect live and online sportsbooks to launch in Canada. But first…

Is Single-Game Sports Betting Really Legal in Canada?

Yes! On June 22, 2021, The Senate passed Bill C-218, otherwise known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. Exactly one week later, on June 29, 2021, the measure received Royal Assent, officially enacting it into law.

The Summary of the legislation reads:

This enactment amends paragraph 207(4)‍(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race — other than a horse-race — or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”

Wait – was sports betting illegal before?

Not exactly. It was illegal for any provincial regulator to provide anything more than multi-pick, parlay betting. Provinces have done this for years, promoting it as a sports lottery. And it was illegal for any Canadian-based company to offer any form of gambling without provincial authorization. However, there’s nothing illegal about placing bets with international sports betting websites. So long as they have no physical presence in Canada, they are not bound by Canadian law.

The only real difference before and after the passage of Bill C-218 is that Canadians will now be able to place single bets with locally licensed and regulated sportsbooks (not just the international variety), and our own government will profit from it.

Will All Provinces and Territories Adopt Single-Game Sports Betting?

Most likely, yes, with the sole exception (maybe) of the territory of Nunavut. Nunavut is the only region that may choose to refrain, simply because commercial gaming has never been authorized there.

At present, Canada’s 10 provinces, plus the Northwest Territories and Yukon, offer the current parlay-style sports lottery. Most of of them also provide casino games and lotteries, either online, on land, or both. It would certainly make sense that these jurisdictions would want to work quickly to convert to single-game sports betting in the digital and retail space.

Will There Be Online Sportsbooks in Canada?

Absolutely! As previously stated, most jurisdictions already promote a locally operated online gaming portal. There’s no doubt that the new rules will be applied to both retail and online sports betting operations. In fact, some provinces were so eager for legalization, they were prepared for launch the moment the law went into effect.

British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) has already made clear its intentions to launch an online sportsbook the moment they are legally capable and prepared to do so. It says it right on their iGaming portal, PlayNow.

Is There a Launch Date for Sports Betting in Canada?

This is the question everyone wants answered – when will single-game betting arrive in Canada? Unfortunately, no one is talking about actual dates yet. In fact, regulators aren’t talking much at all, except to say that sportsbooks are coming. That leaves us with little more than the obvious speculation that a launch could and should occur sometime this Fall.

Why in the Fall, you ask? Well, for one, regulatory guidelines and licensing stipulations must still be written, and there isn’t a lot of summer left to work with. Second, provincial regulators are hoping to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible, because as the old saying goes – “time is money”. And third, the 2021-22 NHL season gets underway October 12. This should light a big enough fire beneath local legislators to get the job done, post haste.

What Commercial Sportsbooks are Coming to Canada?

There’s little doubt that all of Canada’s provincial iGaming portals will launch a sportsbook. What makes this new legislation so interesting, however, is that commercial operators are being given permission to compete – not just in the retail market, like casinos, but in the virtual market. Never before has Canada’s online gambling industry been allowed to host competition within jurisdictions.

It’s too early to devise a definitive list of what companies are going to compete in this upcoming market, assuming provinces choose to let them. Licensing guidelines have yet to be finalized, and until they are, license applications cannot be submitted for appraisal. Even then, there are no guarantees – except maybe one. Canada will cater to its home-town-hero sports betting brand, theScore Bet.

Of all the commercial operators looking to expand from the US market into Canada, theScore is the only one with roots deeply embedded in the Great White North. Another highly-likely competitor is PointsBet. That company recently launched an all new Canadian Operations team, appointing CEO Scott Vanderwel and CCO Nik Sulsky. If nothing else, PointsBet’s determination to penetrate the market is indubitably clear.

Here’s a list of operators you can expect to see opening Canadian sportsbooks (in order of most-probable), and why we think they’ll be approved to do so.

theScore Bet – Based out of Toronto, theScore runs one of the nation’s most popular sports media brands. This company might as well already have the license in hand.

PointsBet – These guys have set up an entire Canadian division for their company, complete with executive figureheads. They’ll stop at nothing to get a foot in the door.

DraftKings – This brand already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada, and is a respected member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

FanDuel – This is another brand that already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada.

Caesars – A global brand, this one owns and operates Caesars Windsor in Ontario, one of the largest integrated resort casinos in the country. It’s also an active member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

Hard Rock – An American based company, they own and operate the famous Hard Rock Vancouver in BC, and will soon open another Hard Rock Casino in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. They’re also is a member of the Canadian Gaming Association

BetMGM – Because Wayne Gretzy said so

What Sports Will Be Available for Betting?

Sports availability is sure to mimic the major events already available in certain US states. As we’ve seen there, variety will surely differ from one operator to the next. You can expect to find all major sportinging events and tournaments, including the following:

  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Football (CFL, NFL)
  • Golf (PGA Tour)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • Olympic Games
  • Soccer (European, MLS)
  • Tennis (Grand Slam)

What is the Legal Age to Bet on Sports in Canada?

The legal age to gamble in Canada varies from one province and territory to the next. The following alphabetical chart shows the appropriate age for sports betting across the country.

Provinces and Territories of CanadaLegal Betting Age
Alberta18
British Columbia19
Manitoba18
New Brunswick19
Newfoundland & Labrador19
Northwest Terrorizes19
Nova Scotia19
Nunavut19
Ontario19
Prince Edward Island19
Quebec18
Saskatchewan19
Yukon19

What Payment Methods will be Available?

Like the sports categories themselves, availability of banking options will be determined by each operator. No doubt, debit cards will top every list, just as they do now on Canada’s provincially run iGaming portals. Canadian exclusive payment methods like Interac eTransfer are sure to get some attention, along with major web wallets like Paypal. If the US market is any indication, Canada’s sportsbooks may also look to employ the versatility of a Play+ prepaid gaming card.

All in all, I believe the payment options list for most Canadian sports betting sites will look something like this:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Play+ Prepaid Card
  • Interac Online
  • eCheck EFT
  • Online Bill Payment
  • Paypal
  • Web Cash
  • PayNearMe

Can I Still Bet at International Online Sportsbooks?

Yes. From a legislative perspective, there is still no reason Canadians can’t do their online betting with offshore operators. It’s never been illegal before, and recently enacted amendments to the law don’t change that. All they’ve done is make it legal for provincial regulators to offer the same single-game sports betting options we’re already able to access via international websites. If you’ve established a report with one of those operators, building your way up the VIP ladder as a loyal member, there’s no reason to stop now.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jul 05

Online Sports Betting 101: Straight Up Bets for New Punters

Online Sports Betting Guide: How to Bet on Sports OnlineSports betting is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. Each year, billions of dollars (euros, francs, pounds, etc.) are wagered on all types of sporting events. It is, by far, one of the most lucrative gambling industries on the planet.

There are two primary reasons why people bet on sports. And no, ‘to make a profit‘ isn’t among them. First of all, sports are extremely popular. Whether it’s football or tennis, baseball or cricket, boxing or curling; almost everyone has at least one sport they follow, or at least enjoy watching. Wagering on these games adds an element of excitement to traditional viewership. Watching your favorite NHL team beat their nemesis is great. Putting a little action on it? All the better!

Secondly, sports betting is among the easiest methods of gambling to understand. A single-event bet is very straight forward. You don’t need an excessive amount of knowledge to place a wager. All you need is a means of wagering and some cash to bet with. And in today’s modern age of technology, utilizing an online sportsbook is the easiest way to do it.

What is Online Sports Betting?

In the physical world, there are several ways to place a bet. You can visit a casino that hosts a sportsbook, or place a wager with your local bookie. Note that local bookies are generally illegal, thus not recommended. Unfortunately, if you live in Canada like myself, legal sports bets are limited to parlays (one bet on multiple picks), which drives far too many punters into underground betting shops.

In the online realm, however, sports betting is not only more convenient, it offers Canadians a legal way to place any type of bet they wish; including those newbie-preferred straight up bets. You can login to any reputable online sportsbook, anytime, from your desktop or mobile device, and place wagers on virtually any sporting event in the world, in just a few moments.

Straight Up Bets

A sports bet is a wager that one athlete or team of athletes will outperform another. Straight up bets are wagers that the athlete/team will win the contest outright. There are many other types of bets that can be placed, but as a new punter, straight up bets are the easiest way to get started.

Wagering on games with the best odds of winning is the key to success. But before you can get that far, you need to understand how it works, and why straight up bets are the best option for new punters.

Straight up betting will let you wager on the Toronto Maple Leafs to beat the Edmonton Oilers, or Manchester United to defeat Barcelona. They are extremely easy, and come with no extenuating conditions. Pick right and you win. Pick wrong and you lose. It’s that simple.

The key to making a profit is knowing the athletes or teams you’re betting on, and getting the best odds. Which brings us to our next segment, where you’ll learn more about understanding all types of betting odds; US, UK and EU. For this, please continue on to part two of our sports betting tutorial: Understanding Sports Betting Odds

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Jun 28

ULeth Prof. says Canada single-game sports betting law will broaden.

Dr. Robert Wood says Canada single-game sports betting law will come to passDr. Robert Wood has an academic resume a mile long. After earning a B.A. (Hons), M.A. and Ph.D in Sociology, he went on to become a Professor of Sociology, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

According to his auto-biographical profile on the ULeth website, Dr. Wood says for the last 15 years:

…my research activity has been situated predominantly in the area of problem gambling, with particular foci on Internet gambling, problem gambling revenue, the socio-cultural aspects of problem gambling, prevention of problem gambling, and public policies related to gambling in contemporary society.”

In a recent report, Dr. Wood shares his expertise on single-game betting on sports, and how the “trickle effect” will see the Canadian government legalize this multi-billion dollar industry.

Canada Single-Game Sports Betting Law will Broaden

Wood admits that Canada’s gambling laws are already lenient. We have land-based and online casinos, poker, bingo, lotteries, and—to a limited degree—sports wagering. However, the Pro-Line and Sport Select products currently available are more restrictive than most bettors would like. Wagers must be placed as parlays, selecting the outcomes of multiple events, as opposed to single-event betting.

To the south, sports betting has been wholly illegal in all states except Nevada for more than two and a half decades. The US Supreme Court overturned that law last month, opening the levy for a flood of legal sports betting across the country.

This action brought about the biggest question in the history of Canadian gambling laws since the inception of provincial lotteries in 1969…

Will Single-Game Betting Become Legal in Canada?

Live, Online and Mobile Single-Game Betting on Sports in CanadaDr. Wood certainly believes so. “I’d be surprised if if we don’t follow suit,” he says. “There is often a trickle effect associated with gambling. The fact that it will be legal in the U.S. is going to make it pretty hard for us to maintain it as an illegal form here.”

He argues that the stigma that once surrounded gambling, and even online gambling, no longer exists in Canada. Betting on single events is something that already takes place on a widespread basis in the country—or more appropriately, outside the country.

An estimated $4 billion is wagered annually by Canadians through offshore websites; which are, for the record, not illegal to access. Sources indicate as much as $10 billion more is bet each year through organized crime.

“You’re trying to regulate something that many people want to do and something that, for most people, is not that morally contentious anymore,” says the Professor.

Legalizing Single-Game Betting Won’t Solve Everything

“Even if the government legalizes sports betting, it doesn’t mean you’re going to stop all illegal gambling,” he continues. In his expert onion, it is largely dependent “on the quality of the product”, as has been proven already by existing online gambling websites.

“Some countries have regulated online gambling in order to minimize the outflow of cash, but the product they offer isn’t very desirable,” he says. “The games aren’t what gamblers want to play and ultimately it fails.”

Thus, if and when Canada does broaden its sports betting laws to include single-event wagers, provinces will need to take the extra step to provide a product that genuinely appeals to Canadian punters. Otherwise, billions of dollars will continue to flow offshore, and into the hands of criminal organizations.

The Social Effects of Legalization

Being an expert on the social aspect of gambling and addiction, Dr. Wood’s opinion is highly valuable in this regard. One of the major arguments against legalization is that it will proliferate problem gambling. Professor Wood disagrees.

“There’s always going to be a social cost to gambling,” he says. “There’s a small proportion of the population that becomes addicted to gambling or develops some sort of severe form of problem gambling and that’s always going to be the case, whether it is legal or illegal.”

He believes the determining factor will be the government’s willingness to reinvest “enough of the gambling revenue in a way that’s going to minimize the harm.” Unfortunately, Dr. Wood doesn’t believe Canada’s politicians have been very effective in that department.

“For the government, it comes down to revenue,” he says. As of now, the lack of a Canada single-game sports betting law is a missed opportunity. “It’s just lost revenue that could be used to fund any number of positive social initiatives, and to treat gambling problems that already pose a cost to our health-care system.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 17

Canada single sports betting immediately on CGA’s lobbying menu.

Canada Single Sports BettingFollowing the US Supreme Court‘s decision on Monday to overturn a 26 year old anti-sports betting law, the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) took immediate action. The CGA wasted no time in announcing their intention to lobby—and lobby hard—for the legalisation of single event sports betting in Canada.

US Dissolves 1992 PASPA Law

Sports betting of any kind has been illegal in all but one US state (Nevada) since 1992. That was the year the federal government enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, aka PASPA.

Prior to this, sports betting was only legal in four US states. Each of the four were given an opportunity continue with legal sports betting by grandfathering in their existing laws. Only Nevada chose to do so, making sportsbooks a fiery hot commodity in Las Vegas.

On Monday, May 14, 2018, the US Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of abolishing PASPA. As such, every state now has the right to legalise and regulate land-based and/or online sports betting activities at their discretion. Anticipating this event, more than one-third of all US states have already passed the required legislation. Their hope is to have sportsbooks open and operating before the start of the 2018-19 NFL season.

CGA Push for Canada Single Sports Betting

Opportunistic US state legislators were not the only ones anticipating this day would come. The CGA published a statement immediately following the SCOTUS decision. It was issued so fast, in fact, there’s little doubt that it was scripted before (if not long before) the ruling came down. The press release outlines their intent to vigorously lobby for single event sports betting in Canada.

The opening statement announces the CGA’s approval of the US Supreme Court decision. However, it goes on to detail the detrimental effects it could have on Canada’s own sports wagering system; unless changes to existing laws are made, and swiftly.

While sports betting has been legal in Canada for decades, punters are restricted to participation in sports lotteries, or parlay betting. We must pick multiple outcomes, and all of those picks must be accurate, or the wager is lost. The odds are not appealing, to say the least. Thus the CGA’s goal is to convince Canada’s Liberal Party that amending the laws to permit single event wagers is paramount to the continued success of provincial sports gambling markets.

The SCOTUS ruling “further reinforces that the Canadian Parliament needs to act,” says CGA Chief Executive Paul Burns. He warns the government that, “Sports betting is a product enjoyed by millions of Canadians who spend billions illegally to access it.”

Can CGA Break the Seven Year Curse?

Provinces have been pushing for single event bets for the last seven years. A simple amendment would have granted the request, giving their regulators a greater opportunity to protect consumers, professional athletes, and the integrity of sports, by permitting single-event wagers.

“This request has fallen on deaf ears,” says Burns.

Bill C-290, introduced by MP Joe Comartin in 2011, spent five years floating through Canada’s lawmaking cabinets. When it languished, Bill C-221 was introduced by MP Brian Masse in 2016. Both had the same directive—to “allow for wagering on the outcome of a single sporting event”. Both failed.

Competition Could Drive Change in Canada

Despite years of opposition to single event sports betting in Canada, there’s one thing the CGA has on its side… Competition.

Throughout history, the US and Canada have remained highly competitive in many major industries. What one does, the other follows. Sometimes Canada pioneers the movement; other times it’s the US that prompts our nation to act. Either way, things tend to get done much faster when there’s a challenge to remain competitive.

That’s exactly where we stand now. Canadian provinces may have generated millions from its less-than-appealing parlay system up until now—with billions more going to illegal single-event gambling—but now, Canadians will have the option to head south across the border and place all the legal wagers they want. If the laws regarding Canada single sports betting don’t change soon, millions more could be lost.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct 11

Online gambling affiliate programs will soon look to new Wag.io for industry-first regulatory compliance monitoring solution.

Wag.io to bring Online Gambling Affiliate Partners into ComplianceThe internet gambling affiliate business is enormous, and for years it operated under the radar of gaming authorities. That’s changing fast. In the UK and beyond, iGaming regulators are cracking down on affiliate programs and partners who fail to comply with advertising regulations.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has spent the last few years tightening up its laws in regards to internet gambling companies. Following more than a decade of lackadaisical regulation, licensed operators are now obligated to comply with strict rules that determine how and where they present their services, who can participate, and what types of promotions they’re allowed to offer.

Gambling advertisements have been a huge concern in the UK and other major iGaming regions, like Australia, Canada and certain parts of the US. Restricting what times these ads can be displayed on television was just the first step. Cartoon-style characters are not allowed (for obvious reasons), and some countries (*cough*Canada*Cough*) permit absolutely no form of enticement.

In the UK, it’s alright to promote a bonus for new players, but the context of the ad must meet specific standards. An operator cannot, for example, suggest that betting on the ponies is a quick way to earn some extra cash, or that its online slot machines are virtual anti-depressants.

Tackling Online Gambling Affiliate Programs

Following these regulations, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issued countless warnings to iGaming operators, issuing fines and pulling ads left and right until they finally got the situation under control. With that settled, for the most part, the ASA then turned its attention to online gambling affiliate programs. What it found was a shocking lack of compliance among careless affiliate partners.

The biggest problem isn’t the affiliate programs themselves, but rather the affiliates they hire to do their advertising. Pretty much anyone can sign up as an affiliate, promoting online casino, poker, sports and bingo products on their website.

Each program comes with a set of rules, but with so many affiliates under their hat, affiliate managers rarely take notice of what their consignors are doing – just whether they are successful at doing it or not. And now it’s getting iGaming affiliate companies in very deep, very hot water with regulatory authorities.

Wag.io To The Rescue

What eCOGRA did for the online casino software industry, providing third-party assurance that all games are 100% fair, a new company called Wag.io is prepared to do for online gambling affiliate programs. Wag.io is set to launch next month, and programs that wish to keep their white-hat label are sure to take notice.

Wag.io Online Gambling Affiliate MonitoringWag.io will offer an affiliate monitoring service that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to constantly scan affiliate websites. If anything out of the ordinary, or out of compliance, is detected, the affiliate manager will be immediately notified. That manager can then take action against the affiliate responsible for the content, before the ASA gets its hands into the proverbial pudding.

“It’s a shame to see so many brands, big and small, running into issues regarding affiliate compliance,” says Wag.io CEO Roo Wright. “Even worse, it’s never good to see once popular affiliate programs closing down due to an inability to monitor affiliate activity.”

Mr. Roo has 12 years experience in the online gaming affiliate industry. He’s worked in every aspect of the business, from super affiliate and affiliate manager, to white-label iGaming operator, to developer of his own affiliate tracking software. He believes his new bespoke web application will be a game changer in the affiliate marketing business.

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Feb 27

Safest and Most Trusted Sportsbooks in Canada

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It’s fair to say that online sports books and Canada don’t really go hand-in-hand. Even though online gambling is mostly legal and offline gambling is widespread, this is a niche that has always been shrouded in uncertainty. However, you are no more breaking the law by gambling in an online sports book than you are by gambling in an online casino—it’s not exactly legal, but it’s not illegal either.

Sportsbooks like Sports Interaction get around the laws by being regulated within the confines of Canadian law. They have been regulated here for a number of years and that allows them to offer their services to all Canadians. And that’s a good thing for gamblers across this great nation, because it is thanks to services like Sports Interaction that we finally have accessible online sports betting in Canada.

The Safest Sportsbooks

Sports Interaction is actually the sportsbook we’re going to focus on in this article, the one that we deem the safest and best. That’s not because it’s one of the only ones either. In fact, Sports Interaction is able to stand side-by-side with many giants of this industry, from sites that offer their services to Europeans, to sites based in Asia and Australia.

Sports Interaction has always attracted a large scope of gamblers, from those in the UK to those here in Canada. It is a sportsbook that offers something for players from all nations, as well as one that has a little something for both casual gamblers and high rollers.

Sports Interaction has been going strong for a number of years now and it ticks all of the boxes in terms of regulation, licensing and safety. It uses the best encryption technology on the market to ensure your details are safe at all times; it is fully regulated; and it is also audited. In other words, Sports Interaction goes through the same checks and the same processes as any other sportsbook. The difference is that, unlike most other sportsbooks, Sports Interaction is accessible to players right here in Canada.

BetFair Alternative

Let’s be honest, BetFair was one of the best sportsbooks for Canadians. It was an exchange and it had high minimum limits, so it wasn’t perfectly for small stakes gamblers or anyone new to sports betting. But for everyone else, it was perfect. However, BetFair stopped allowing Canadians to join. They firmly slammed the door on the Great White North and left us with very few options as a result.

Of those options, Sports Interaction is by far the best. It should not be seen as a last resort. It should not be seen as your only choice, because that’s not the case. Sports Interaction is one of the best sportsbook out there wherever you are based, and here in Canada, where competition is thin on the ground but gamblers are still as hard-to-please as ever, it easily ranks in the number 1 spot.

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