In the nearly four years legalized betting has been in existence in the U.S., professional sports entities have entered into a variety of promotional agreements with sportsbooks. A once-taboo concept, it has now become commonplace.
With Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, now on the brink of making multi-operator legal sports wagering a reality, the governing body of the country’s signature sport has already cut the ribbon on such a deal.
And while the National Hockey League (NHL) has chosen its favorite sportsbook in Canada, it’s very possible that the masses go in another direction once there are more Ontario sports betting options to choose from in a few weeks.
NHL Partners With PROLINE+ Ahead Of Ontario Sportsbook Expansion
The NHL and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) have announced a multi-year partnership that designates the OLGC’s PROLINE+ sports betting platform as the 105-year-old league’s official sports betting partner, just in time for Canada betting expansion to take place in Ontario on April 4.
The nascent agreement encompasses both the PROLINE+ digital betting platform and the retail version of the product, which is available at retail lottery outlets across the province.
Meanwhile, the OLGC will also see its sports betting product promoted across the league’s digital and social channels. The partnership also includes co-branded promotions that encompass current regular-season games, the playoffs, the Stanley Cup Final, and the 2022-23 regular season as well.
How Does ProLine+ Stack Up With Commercial Sportsbooks?
PROLINE has been in operation since the early 1990s, but the PROLINE+ platform launched August 2021 as Ontario’s first legal online sportsbook following the allowance of single-game wagering.
To this point, it is virtually the only option for bettors looking for a sportsbook experience. But once April 4 arrives, PROLINE+ will have plenty of competition. Objectively, bettors could very well choose one of the new arrivals.
PROLINE+ does offer wagering on all major North American sports leagues, along with major international sports that include soccer, tennis, golf, boxing, and mixed martial arts.
Despite the wide array of events available, PROLINE+ is limited with respect to bet types offered. At present, PROLINE+ primarily offers conventional moneyline, point spread, and totals bets, along with limited props.
Now let’s compare those offerings with a brand like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and BetRivers, among others. The above-mentioned operators are known for a massive catalog of betting options including tons of props for a wide range of sports and leagues across the world.
The relatively sparse number of options at PROLINE+ is in sharp contrast to those available in the popular, established commercial sportsbooks that are expected to begin rolling out in Ontario.
Once these new sportsbooks are available to Ontario residents, they are expected to offer the same selection of bet types as those accessible to U.S.-based customers. These include:
- Point Spread/Run Line/Puck Line
- Parlays (Multi-Event & Same Game)
- Player/Game/Team Props
- Alternate Lines
- Live Betting
What Else Will New Ontario Sportsbooks Have That ProLine+ Doesn’t?
Not to bury the lede here, but where commercial sportsbooks are likely to draw business is with their welcome offers and promotions. Since the expectation is that over a dozen operators will join the space, bettors will benefit from the competition that ensues among them.
Sportsbooks are known for offering introductory bonuses and promotions that are expected to represent a significant upgrade to those currently featured on PROLINE+.
While PROLINE+ offers $50 as a deposit match bonus with your first investment as its current primary offer for new customers, commercial sportsbooks typically feature more lucrative new customer offers.
Existing customers at a sportsbook like DraftKings or BetMGM (or any of the above-listed sites) may also enjoy amenities such as sizable odds boosts, same-game parlay promos, bet insurance, and other offers that can help put them ahead.
As has often been the case when these sportsbooks make their debuts in new U.S. states, it’s very likely FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and other commercial entrants into the Ontario market attempt to make a splash with ultra-appealing promotions, in an attempt at significant customer acquisition in what is expected to evolve into a highly lucrative betting market.
CFL Betting In Ontario
During the 2021 season, bettors in Ontario were able to use PROLNE+ as a method of wagering on the Canadian Football League. But once the 2022 season kicks off in June, there are set to be many more betting options available thanks to the emergence of more sportsbook options.
It’s unclear what the offerings for CFL will look like, but if we can base any of our expectations on what is available for the NFL in the United States, then bettors in Canada are in for a treat. Here’s some of what you could come across:
- Moneyline, Spread, & Total (Full Game, Halves, Quarters)
- Player Props (Passing/Rushing/Receiving Yards, Completions, & Attempts)
- Team Totals (Quarters, Halves, Full Game)
- Winning Margin
- First Team To X Points (10, 15, 20, 25, etc.)
- Halftime/Full-Time Result
While all of the above options won’t be included, some of them are likely to be available each week of the CFL season. All sportsbooks also won’t have the exact same markets, so it’s worthwhile to create multiple accounts and shop around for lines and markets that work for you.