Western Canada Sports Betting Options Expand, With A Catch

Written By Pat Evans on December 21, 2021
Canada sports betting

A new set of retail offerings for sports betting in Canada is available in several provinces.

Don’t expect to get much money down through them, however.

Scientific Games announced a bolstered set of products for Canadian sports betting, released in conjunction with the Western Canada Lottery Corp. The product is available in the provinces and territories the WCLC services, including Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We’re extremely proud of the hard work by both the WCLC and Scientific Games Lottery teams that helped us rejuvenate the sports betting experience in western Canada and introduce real-time odds, futures and single-game betting,” WCLC President of IT Tedda Sandercock said in a release. “By integrating new sports betting functionality with our gaming system, we’re now able to offer players an experience they’ve never had before.”

The lottery offering by the WCLC limits bets to $100, though, potentially capping its appeal.

Western Canada retail sports betting

Scientific Games’ lottery sports betting product is now integrated into the WCLC central system. That will allow bettors to wager on single sports events at retail outlets with lottery products.

“By using the new ticket builder functionality found online at sportselect.com, players can make their picks using real-time odds to generate a QR code which they then take to a lottery retailer to purchase their ticket,” Sandercock said.

“We’re thrilled to offer this convenient new online approach to building a betting slip, while maintaining a more traditional method of building a ticket at retail for players who prefer it.”

Sports betting in Western Canada growing

WCLC updated its online offerings at Sport Select to include single-event sports betting in November. Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis also launched sports betting through Play Alberta earlier in the year.

This month, AGLC released an RFP for two commercial sports betting operators to run retail sportsbooks in the province. Alberta might open up to commercial online sportsbooks in the future as well.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation also operates lottery products in Western Canada. From its launch Aug. 27 through early November, the BCLC’s PlayNow handled more than $25 million in bets.

Pricing issues in Alberta?

Early in the legalized single-event sports betting landscape of Canada, the lottery monopoly allowed pricing issues to emerge in Alberta.

Similar lottery-controlled issues are seen in a few US sports betting markets such as Washington, D.C., and Montana.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-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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