You may have bet a few dollars at an Ontario online sportsbook on Olivia Chow winning the Toronto mayoral race. But what I really want to know is who you have to win the next Birgit Nilsson Prize?
Tell me you took German opera soprano Diana Damrau for the mild upset over American baritone Thomas Hampson in the slugfest for the biggest prize in classical music.
Yes, that’s an actual bet you can place in Ontario via the bwin sportsbook, but it’s far from the only eyebrow-raising one.
Perhaps you would also like to lay a little action on earth’s doom or who will play Dumbledore in the new Harry Potter TV series or whether it will be @khaby.lame, @charlidamello or @zachking with the most TikTok followers by the end of the year?
Believe it or not, you can bet all those wacky prop bets and much, much more at Ontario sportsbooks.
This is what you get when you have more than 30 regulated sportsbooks
PlayCanada recently took a deep dive to see what kind of off-beat bets Ontario sportsbooks are offering.
Ontario is home to one of the most open, regulated online gambling jurisdictions in the world. More than 30 Ontario sports betting operators have set up shop — everything from the big players to boutique brands from around the world. (Note: there’s currently 48 legal online gambling operators in Ontario if you count all those just running online casinos without sports betting).
So, how do some of the sportsbooks try to stand out?
Product, product, product.
Betting on Trump v. Biden II is passé
Beyond two sites taking bets on the Toronto mayoral race (FanDuel and Sports Interaction) and FD being the lone operator, so far, with wagering on the next Canadian federal election likely in 2025, PlayCanada found at least 10 Ontario sports betting sites taking action on the 2024 US presidential election.
Given the more creative betting options out there, wagering on whether incumbent Joe Biden will take down presumptive challenger Donald Trump in the rematch has become passé in the world of wacky prop bets.
Why not head over to bwin and put some money down on whether it will be Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the knockout over Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the Turkish presidential election?
Perhaps you prefer something darker than politics in the Middle East. If so, Sports Interaction has your action. The sportsbook is currently offering a climate change “weather” bet on whether 2023 will be the hottest year on record according to NASA global climate data. One step closer to annihilation is currently the favourite at 1.77. Idealists can get 1.95 for betting on humanity not sucking quite so much this year.
On a slightly less apocalyptic note, Betano is taking bets on which city will be chosen to host to the 2024 Eurovision song contest. Stockholm is the current favourite to get the nod, but if Ornskoldsvik is selected you can score big at +1600 as scientists nudge the Doomsday Clock a scooch closer to midnight.
Betano is the clear winner in weird and wonderful prop bet options
In fact, Betano was the clear winner among Ontario sportsbooks with 16 wild betting options that include:
- The winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize (including Trump at +19900).
- Who will play Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, Hagrid and McGonagall in the new Harry Potter TV Series (Samuel L. Jackson is currently +9900 to play the headmaster, while you can get Daniel Craig at +1400 to play Voldy).
- Speaking of James Bond, Betano is one of three Ontario sportsbooks offering action on who will be picked to play the next 007 (888 and BetRivers are the others). So far, all three have Aaron-Taylor Johnson as the favourite).
- Most Twitter followers by the end of 2023. Who do you have? Elon Musk (-500), Barack Obama (+450) or Cristiano Ronaldo (+900)?
- The winner of the 2023 Nobel Literature Prize (Can Xue currently is at +700, with Jon Fosse, Pierre Michon and Gerald Murnane all next at +900).
- Who will be named Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2023. Musk is leading that one, but you can get +6400 on Joe Rogan.
- Which movie will gross the most worldwide in 2023.
- Who will be NATO Secretary General as of Dec. 1, 2023. I’m rooting for Zuzana Caputova at +600.
- The 2024 Grammy Awards for song, record and album of the year.
- The 2023 Tony Awards for best musical, play, musical revival and play revival.
- More TikTok bets, including: Will TikTok be banned in the US by May 31st? Will TikTok be bought by an American company by the end of 2023? Will Musk buy TikTok by the end of this year?
- The winner of the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival.
- A long list of bets on both US and UK politics.
Taken in moderation, these bets are a fun diversion
There are a few others out there, of course.
Over at theScore Bet, you can already bet money on the Best Picture winner at the 2024 Academy Awards (so long as you want to bet on The Killers of The Flower Moon, which is currently your only choice at +300).
At bwin, you can lay a bet down on the Emmy Awards, which is, shockingly, not a current option at Betano.
Previously, Ontario has offered a few of the Super Bowl prop bets typically not allowed in the US at legal sportsbooks — such as betting on the length of the national anthem. So, clearly, more is allowed here than most places where there are legal books.
Responsible gambling advocates would be right to concerned that you can bet on just about anything in Ontario.
But taken in sober moderation, these wacky future prop bets can be a fun diversion from your normal table tennis in the Czech Republic wagers, especially if you really love Diana Damrau.