Did Lottery Pricing Issues Follow Sports Betting To Alberta?

Posted on September 2, 2021
Alberta sports betting
Posted By on September 2, 2021

Another province has single-game sports betting in Canada as Alberta‘s new Play Alberta launched Wednesday.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis debuted its expanded sports wagering product Wednesday. Single-game sports betting in Canada became legal Aug. 27, when bill C-218 went into effect to allow provinces to regulate the industry.

“AGLC is continuously looking for ways to improve Play Alberta, and adding sports betting to the website will give consumers expanded gambling entertainment options,” AGLC Acting President and CEO Kandice Machado said in a release.

“Play Alberta Sports Betting will take the existing sports betting market that players are familiar with and introduce a modern option that presents Albertans with choice and convenience in a safe and regulated environment.”

What Alberta sports betting offers

Prior to C-218, provincial lotteries previously could offer parlays. Now, provinces can build on their lottery offerings and potentially open to commercial operators.

Play Alberta offers a variety of single-game betting options, including major North American and European sports leagues. On Monday, the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders play the Edmonton Elks, a potentially significant draw for Alberta bettors.

“With the first battle of Alberta days away in the CFL and both the NFL and NHL seasons on the horizon, it’s a very exciting time to be a sports bettor in the province,” AGLC Acting VP of Gaming and Cannabis Steve Lautischer said.

Bettors must be over 18 years old. Play Alberta also offers loss, bet and daily session limits along with a self-exclusion program.

Lottery sports betting issues go north?

The AGLC partnered with NeoPollard Interactive and Sporting Solutions to launch the expanded product. Sporting Solutions will maintain the odds and lines on Play Alberta.

With a monopoly on the market, however, prices are already exorbitant according to some observers. The lottery monopoly issue is seen in some US sports betting markets like Montana and Washington, D.C., which suffers from poor pricing in its product, GambetDC, leading to performance issues and revenue goal shortfalls.

Alberta regulators are working through information from stakeholders to potentially allow retail sportsbooks with tethered online partners, according to Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns.

Ontario off to fast start

Ontario‘s expanded lottery sports betting product, PROLINE+, drew more than $1 million in bets since its launch Aug. 27. The demand for legal single-game betting is there, as 74% of the bets from Friday to Tuesday night were on single games, according to an Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. release.

“Ontario bettors had been waiting for a best-in-class option to place bets and that’s exactly what OLG has delivered with PROLINE+,” OLG Chief Digital and Strategy Officer Dave Pridmore said in a release. “This product is competitive and exciting and players are seeing that. We’re experiencing excellent engagement with those who registered early, and we only expect to see the number of new users increase as word about PROLINE+ continues to spread, particularly as the American football season gets underway next week.”

Ontario regulators are working on rules to open up the internet gaming and sports betting market to commercial operators. That will continue to push the province as a competitive sports betting market.

More provinces go live with sports betting

As expected, the British Columbia Lottery Corp., Loto-Quebec and Atlantic Lottery Corp. launched expanded sports betting products on Aug. 27. All three of the products are on Scientific GamesOpenSports platform.

“The ability to offer singles betting to players from the very first day of its availability in Canada illustrates the speed in which we can adapt to regulatory changes,” Scientific Games Digital Commerical Director Marc Crean said in a release. “As the first to market, we are now well-positioned to enjoy further growth in Canada and provide our key customers BCLC, Loto-Quebec and Atlantic Lottery Corporation with a world-class sports betting experience.”

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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