Ontario Bettors Embrace Single Sports, Novelty Bets

Written By Robyn McNeil on September 25, 2021 - Last Updated on June 30, 2022
Image of a computer showing Proline+ on the screen, to the left is a smartphone with the mobile app on the screen

Ted Lasso wasn’t the only winner at last weekend’s Emmy Awards.

Along with the actors, writers, directors, and behind-the-scenes creators that came out on top, novelty betting in Ontario sports betting did alright, too.

According to Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG), one of the first novelty contests featured on Proline+ had bettors on board. And, in most cases, players had a handle on who with the nods were most likely to win. But, as usual, there were still some surprises.

If the Lasso way is wrong…

It’s little surprise Apple TV’s feel-good comedy came out on top in the category for Outstanding Comedy Series. The fan favourite received 68% of total wagers in the category on Proline+. 

Ontario’s bettors were mostly able to call the show’s win. But, when it came to Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, they didn’t do quite as well. That honour went to Jason Sudeikis for his sweet southern portrayal of Lasso himself. Yet only 16% of Proline+ wagers predicted as much.

The Crown picking up the award for Outstanding Drama Series with 27% of wagers wasn’t a terrible shock. However, the show did provide a few unexpected results. 

Josh O’Connor, who won Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his “Crown” role, won only 1%  of that category’s wagers.   

And “The Crown” delivered the night’s biggest upset when Olivia Colman won Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Heavily favoured to win was Coleman’s “The Crown” co-star, Emma Corrin. But Coleman pulled through with 39% of total wagers for her category. 

One $37 wager, at 9.50 odds, paid out a tidy CA$352.

However, the biggest payout of the night (CA$1318) went to a bet on Jean Smart for her Lead Actress in a Comedy Series win. Smart was heavily favoured (93%) by PROLINE+ bettors for her turn as Deborah Vance in Hacks.

Proline+ roars to life

OLG launched the new Proline+ just under a month ago to roaring success. 

Tony Bitoni, OLG’s director of external comms, says since Aug. 27, the app brought in more than CA$10 million. To OLG, this signals Ontario gamblers have been awaiting a trustworthy destination to place their bets.

In fact, a recent survey conducted for OLG by Hill and Knowlton Strategies asked 1000 Ontario residents about their gambling habits. Results show 62% of Ontario sports bettors are more likely to make a single-event sports bet since legalization.

In fact, one in three frequent sports bettors (who bet once a week or more) have had a bad experience using an online app or website. 

With Proline+’s launch, 51% of those same bettors feel good about wagering on the app. Promotion of responsible gambling and player tools and education from OLG’s award-winning PlaySmart program was a part of the why.

Players also care about giving back. More than half say they’re more likely to bet on sports knowing that 100% of the proceeds get reinvested locally.


Photo by OLG
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Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor. She lives in Halifax in an empty nest with a mischievous cat and a penchant for good stories, strong tea, cheeseburgers, yoga, graveyards, hammocks, gardening, games, herb, and hoppy beer.

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