The main thrust of the conversation after Canada voted to legalize single-game sports betting has been the focus on the expanded “single-game” betting options that will be available. Canadian residents have always had the legal ability to bet parlays, but Ontario legal sports betting options will soon include far more sports and many more types of bets.
What has been often missed in this is that legalization will be a boon to both sports that have been left out and the fans of those sports.
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Current Ontario Legal Sports Betting Options Limited
Ontario sports betting had no legal avenue for many sports wagering markets before legalization, as the only legally sanctioned bets were just on games in the big four professional sports leagues, college football and basketball, some soccer leagues, and the CFL.
There was no legal futures market, no way to bet on season long props, and props offerings were limited to occasional games. Now with legalization, those markets will all be booming, but there is now a legal path to bet on other sports, like golf, UFC, etc.
While betting on the PGA TOUR or the outcome of the latest F1 race was never illegal in Canada, there was no legal route to place bets on those outcomes (amongst many others), and so the legal market for those wagers was non-existent.
Even before the entrance of US-based players like DraftKings and FanDuel, the ability for bettors to place wagers on a variety of never-before-legal bets is here, with Pro-Line offering futures on Golf and Formula 1, and on futures in the big four North American pro sports leagues.
What new Ontario legal sports betting options will mean for you
The ability for Ontarians to legally bet on who will win the Masters or place a nice futures wager on the Blue Jays to win the World Series will be a boon for bettors, no longer having to go to the unregulated market to place bets on outcomes that never have been illegal. Additionally, access to the legal market will expand the list of available sports, especially when the list of legal operators in Ontario expands.
Additionally, the availability of competing markets will force operators to offer better prices than have been available in the past, with Pro-Line having been often criticized for a lack of competitive odds. For the average bettor, competition will enable better prices at every operator, which will make it easier for bettors to become successful.
Canadian Sports For Canadian Sports Bettors
Sports like Australian rules football, curling, and lacrosse all have followings in Ontario and all air on Canadian television, but at no point has there ever been a legal way for bettors to bet on these sports, but with legalization, operators who have posted odds on those matches will now be allowed into Ontario, allowing for the proliferation of betting on these markets.
While not hugely popular betting markets, the increased ability to bet on these sports will be a boon to their wider adoption, and a huge victory for those who have already been betting these sports.
Lots of the attention has rightly been on what legalization will do to the established sports and how they will be bet on, but the bigger boon of legalization will be the wider array of sports and events available to be bet.
With the Masters coming and events like the Kentucky Derby on the calendar as always, the sports betting world is much larger than the options for Ontario bettors have ever been.