We could call it being behind the times or fashionably late.
If you’re not a Nova Scotian, the latter’s likely your best bet. But, in either case, as of Friday, you can enjoy single event betting in Nova Scotia. And right before sports betting’s biggest day.
After getting a tip out of Thursday’s Parleh newsletter, PlayCanada decided to find out more. Although the provincial regulator didn’t have much to say, they did confirm singles in Nova Scotia were imminent.
Jillian Moore, Nova Scotia Gaming Corp’s communications manager, was brief and to the point via email.
“Single-event sports betting will be available as of Friday, February 11th, in Nova Scotia as an extension of Atlantic Lottery’s existing Proline offerings.”
Just last week, before the announcement, NSG had this to say about introducing single bets to NS.
“Many Nova Scotians are already participating in these activities through unregulated online platforms,” said Moore in another email.
“The unregulated sites may not offer player protections (payouts may not be guaranteed) and are not always in line with Responsible Gambling best practices. Atlantic Lottery’s online offerings feature age and residency verification and built-in responsible gambling features. This includes features such as a self-exclusion option, customizable deposit and wager limits, time displays, and a personalized risk rating based on their online play, as well as several other tips and links to help players gamble responsibly.”
Government gameplan: proceed with caution, ensure safeguards are in place
Nova Scotia’s current government was sworn in at the end of August, only four days after Bill C-218 came into force.
That Bill, which received Royal Assent on June 29, gave the provinces the authority to add single event bets to their regional offerings. But while other regions took advantage of the change on day one, Nova Scotia put its foot on the break.
But things are about to speed up as Nova Scotians join players in the region wagering on single events.
“Gaming is an important topic for Nova Scotians,” said Andrew Preeper, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.
“The new government wanted to take the time to meet with the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation to understand their implementation plan, as well as be assured that the principles of responsible gaming were considered for single-game sport betting. The government is confident in NSGC and Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s approach and has approved this new offering.”
Keeping more Nova Scotian dollars at home
Greg Weston, the communications strategist for ALC, confirmed the news too. And he went on to say ALC is excited to extend this sports betting experience to Atlantic Canadian adults.
“Single-event betting will be available for players in Nova Scotia, effective Feb. 11,” he said in an email. “By offering this option to ProLine players,” Westen added, “Atlantic Lottery will keep more sports betting revenues within our region while offering world-class responsible gambling features to players.”
According to Weston, ALC uses independent data to determine the region’s approximate offshore or grey market spend. Something the sitting government likely wants to curb due to lost taxes and a lack of player protections. Especially in the time of COVID.
“Approximately $100 million leaves the Atlantic region each year through play on unregulated websites that offer online gaming,” he said in an email.
However, how soon Nova Scotia will begin to see dollars repatriated from the existing grey market operators is still TBD. But surely, expanding betting options on ALC.ca to better challenge the competition will help.
“Atlantic Lottery recognizes the importance of offering its players a regulated, responsible alternative to the thousands of unregulated gambling sites that are already operating in this market.”