Single-event sports betting is now live in Manitoba.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MLL) launched single bets on PlayNow.com on day one of legal singles betting in Canada.
PlayNow, Manitoba’s only legal online gambling platform, launched in 2013 after MLL partnered with British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). The online platform is intended to allow Manitobans legal access to sports betting and casino and poker games.
Safe and Secure Alternative
Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, passed the Senate on June 22 and came into effect on Aug 27. It now allows Manitobans to bet on a single game or event.
The legal change gives provinces and territories the right to regulate and license single-event sports betting in their respective jurisdictions.
For Manitobans in particular, that means that single-event wagers are on the table at PlayNow, just in time for the start of the NFL season.
Previously, placing bets at offshore casinos was a legal grey area in Manitoba (and Canada). But the dog days are over, and now players can participate in single-event sports betting in a regulated and safe environment.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this development of sports betting in Canada,” said Manny Atwal, MLL’s President and CEO.
“Sports betting for individual events has long been available through unregulated gambling sites, and we have been looking forward to providing Manitobans with a safe and secure alternative for some time,” he added.
As noted previously, Canadians couldn’t bet on single games; but it was on illegal offshore sites or using US casinos when it happened.
According to the Canadian Gaming Association, those gray and black markets see nearly CA$14 billion wagered on sports annually.
“Canadians enjoy sports betting because they are wagering approximately CA$10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime. Additionally, more than CA$4 billion is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites.”
But how much of that money will transition to regulated sites, like PlayNow? No one knows for sure.
The future of Manitoba land-based casinos
While Manitobans can now easily engage in sports wagering safely online, visitors to brick-and-mortar casinos must be aware of the newest measures.
Manitoba announced new immunization requirements for residents participating in certain events and activities.
Now theatres, movie theatres, restaurants, fitness centres, and nightclubs all require a double-jab. The same goes for Manitoba’s casinos, bingo halls and VLT lounges.
The new requirements came into effect by public health order on Sept. 3 for all health regions.
While mass cutbacks are likely in a lot of industries, Canadian casino operators remain optimistic. Special measures are in effect to increase safety and tempt visitors back through casinos doors.
But with casinos out-of-service for so long due to COVID-19, perhaps players are online for good.