With less than a month left until the torch is lit, Canadians are getting ready.
With sports betting in Canada a hot topic during these cold days, sports fans will be pleased to find out many Canadians will be able to wager on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
However, the launch of the expanded sports betting market in Ontario will not occur by the opening ceremony and may not happen until the Games are part of sports history. Still, legal sports betting is launched through provincial lotteries, albeit without the competitive market and consumer-friendly options that are expected to launch later this year.
PlayCanada checked in with provinces throughout the country to see what you can and can’t bet on for the Beijing Games.
What’s the latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics?
The opening ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 4, with some preliminary events being held before the official start. The closing ceremony will happen on Feb. 20.
As the International Olympic Committee and Olympic organizers in Beijing ensure the Games will take place as planned, NHL players have already bailed. With another spike in COVID-19 cases underway and another lockdown, Canadians can at least look forward to watching the Olympics.
The 2022 Games will bring together 80 national teams and 4,000 athletes. Altogether, there will be 19 days featuring 15 winter sports.
While Canada has joined a diplomatic boycott of the Games in Beijing, Canadians will still tune in. And players are interested in ways to place legal bets.
Sports bettors aim to predict the unpredictable Olympics
Until expanded markets launch province by province, Canadians will make legal sports bets through provincial lotteries. Each of those sports betting platforms have different rules and may have different offerings for the Games.
Here’s what they told PlayCanada:
Ontario sports betting: Proline Plus offering several Winter Olympics events
Tony Bitonti, OLG’s director of external communications, told our sister site the platform would offer betting on men’s and women’s hockey, curling, skiing, speed skating, figure skating, bobsled, snowboarding and more.
The province’s only legal sports betting platform said it will offer some additional prop bets too. Bettors will be able to place wagers on which country will win the most gold medals. Plus, you can wager on how many medals Canada will earn.
British Columbia sports betting: PlayNow offering full suite of betting market
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation is preparing to provide PlayNow.com players with a full suite of betting markets in advance of and during the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics.
A spokesperson for the BC operator said options will be robust for British Columbia sports betting players.
“PlayNow.com players will have the opportunity to bet on everything from how many medals will Canada win at the Games to which country will win the most medals,” Matt Lee, BCLC’s senior communications specialist, told PlayCanada.
“We will also offer bets on the majority of individual and team sports, including men’s and women’s hockey, provided the competitors are 19 years of age or older.”
Quebec sports betting: Lotto-Quebec and Mise-o-jeu
Lotto-Quebec couldn’t provide specific information regarding Winter Olympics betting in the province. However, a spokesperson confirmed they will likely offer bets on a “variety of team sports and individual sports.”
Alberta sports betting: Hockey betting, but possibly a catch
Things were more certain out west, according to Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.
A spokesperson for the agency told PlayCanada:
“AGLC and PlayAlberta are excited to share that markets for Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey will be available for our players when the Winter Olympics begin in February. This will include both pre-match and in-play betting options for all games on the schedule.”
However, the AGLC could not guarantee that international Olympic hockey rosters would not include players under the age of 18. That could force the agency to take down the betting markets.
Atlantic provinces: Gold medal bets, futures among market
Due to some uncertainty around which events will take place, the sports department for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation couldn’t say for sure which sports they will offer for the Olympics and which they won’t.
“We are hoping to have a wide variety of events, and rest assured we will offer all major events on (Proline) for daily events like curling or hockey if they happen as planned,” a spokesperson for ALC told PlayCanada.
“We will also have a number of Futures available for wagering on who will win the gold medal for as many events as possible.”
The ALC covers New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
WCLC: No response yet on western Canada offerings
As of publication, PlayCanada had not received any response from the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.
The agency covers gaming for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Will Ontario’s market be ready for the Beijing Olympics?
Single-game sports wagering opened on Aug. 27 across Canada through the provincial lottery corporations, including Ontario’s Proline Plus platform.
Even though sports betting is only legally available through provincial lotteries, the Winter Olympics originally looked to be an excellent opportunity for the sportsbooks to introduce themselves to the unique Ontario market.
Ontario’s market launch may still take place in the first quarter of 2022. But the flame may be out in Beijing before the full launch.