Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, home to not only the capital of Canada, Ottawa, but also the country’s largest city, Toronto. With a large population comes a large appetite for gambling either by lottery, casino table games or sports betting. Ontario offers a large suite of paper-based lotteries and sports gambling opportunities, and has more than 70 gambling establishments across the province, including bingo halls.
History of Ontario Gambling Laws:
In 1969, Canada made amendments to the Criminal Code that legalized gambling and allowed provinces to make their own regulations for gambling and lotteries. All gambling forms are legally regulated with the 1992 Gaming Control Act. There is a long history of gambling in the province even before that, starting with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) that was founded in 1975. Wintario was the first lottery game offered by the OLG in 1975 but was discontinued in 1996.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation:
Today, the OLG is under the umbrella of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which regulates gambling in the province. The minimum age to purchase OLG lottery tickets is 18, while you have to be at least 19 years old to physically enter a casino in the province.
The AGCO and OLG work in conjunction with the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC) to provide popular paper-based lotteries that are also available around the country such as Lotto 6-49 and Lotto Max, and online sports betting games like Pro-Line and the ProlineStadium.com sports betting portal. Ontario offers its own lotteries as well, the most popular being Ontario 49.
Sports betting in Ontario:
Sport Select is a group of sports betting games offered by most Canadian provinces, but regulated by the provinces’ governing bodies, so in this case, the OLG. The games include Pro-Line and Point Spread.
Pro-Line offers fixed-odds sports betting, and is the most popular Sport Select game. Pro-Line allows players to parlay three to six outcomes of matches being played. Pro-Line players can parlay moneylines, point spreads and totals on a Pro-Line wager. To win the bet, every wager must cash. The minimum wager for a Pro-Line ticket is $2 and the maximum is $100.
The most popular leagues that wagers are placed on are the North American sports leagues like the NHL, NBA, NFL, CFL and MLB. However, odds are offered on almost every professional league.
Pro-Line also offers a “fantasy” option where you can place wagers on player props such as whether a specific player will score a goal in a given match. The wager restrictions are the same, with a minimum of a $2 wager along with parlaying at least three selections.
Pro-Line Futures is an odds-based sports betting game that lets bettors wager on a single selection from a games list such as a division champion, stat category leader or an outright champion. The minimum wager still applies at $2 and the maximum is $100.
A point spread is a type of betting where the sportsbook will handicap the favourite by a number of points so the teams are on equal ground. Bettors can combine anywhere from two to 12 selections and winnings are based on the wager and the odds provided by the OLG.
Single-Team Sports Betting:
Single-team sports betting is illegal under Canada’s Criminal Code, which means there is no single-team sports betting games operated by the OLG in Ontario. However, using offshore sportsbooks is not illegal in Canada, allowing gamblers to use other outlets such as Betway and Bet365 to shop around for better odds and promotions.
Poker and Casino Options:
There are over 70 gambling establishments in Ontario, but only 10 government-run casinos, none of which are in the Greater Toronto Area. However, there are still some licensed casinos nearby, like the Fallsview Casino Resort near Niagara Falls, which is about an hour away from the province’s capital.
Online Gambling Options:
The OLG has made a lot of effort to modernize its platform and in doing so created iGaming, where bettors can play classic casino games online such as slots, poker and blackjack. Lottery players can also purchase tickets online or through the OLG’s app.