This week the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announced a partnership with the NHL to promote its PROLINE+ sportsbook across Canada. Key components of the relationship that will span five years include granting OLG the rights to cross promote and distribute NHL logos across the league’s various social and digital channels.
OLG has been a prominent player in the sports gambling industry for more than 40 years. The NHL views OLG as an ideal entrée into this new playing field, plus offering the capacity to deliver unique player experiences both online and at retailers.
In Ontario, retail lottery outlets will feature the PROLINE product, as well as simplify access to the PROLINE+ platform for sports betting.
Select NHL games will be co-branded for sports betting afficionados too. The 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic prominently displayed PROLINE+ as the presenting sponsor, between outdoor games and the like.
The NHL becomes the last of the four “major” sports leagues to align itself in this capacity:
- Major League Baseball (MLB) considers BetMGM and DraftKings its co-exclusive sports better partner, with DraftKings as its sole partner for daily fantasy sports.
- The NBA splits exclusive rights between FanDuel and DraftKings.
- The NFL counts WynnBET, BetMGM, PointsBet, and FOX Bet among its approved sportsbook operators.
Some interesting aspects of OLG’s approach center around proposition (aka “prop” bets). It will still feature the basics like over-unders and money lines but also offer fans the unique ability to place prop bets usually reserved for only the biggest events of the year. Who will score first? How many minutes into the game will they score? What will the score be at the end of the second period? Things of that nature.
Hardcore and nonhardcore fans alike will still want their favorite teams to win, yet the rationale goes prop bets will keep it interesting in very different ways until the final buzzer sounds.
Legalized sports gambling is by no means a new phenomenon; however, the way in which it has been brought to the masses over the past decade has grown beyond many expectations.
Today all 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada actively allow for sports gambling through either provincial lotteries, casino games, or parlay-style sports betting.
It is estimated Canadians spend roughly $10 billion every year in sports gambling’s illegal black market and another $4 billion in its grey market constituting offshore jurisdictions.
Tax experts will contend the further cementing of legal sports gambling in Canada stands to bring many of those dollars back to Canada which can then be taxed.
In the U.S. the story is very similar. More than two dozen states, plus Washington D.C., allow for legalized sports gambling, with close to 20 permitting it online too. Both figures are expected to rise in the coming years.
The various avenues one can seek out to place legal sports bets will no doubt continue to grow too. It is no wonder that legalized sports gambling continues to proliferate.