- Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has announced a partnership deal with the National Football League (NFL).
- The OLG becomes the ‘official retail lottery’ and sportsbook partner of the NFL just in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV.
- The OLG operates the PROLINE sports betting platform online and at in-store lottery retailers.
Ontario’s sports betting ecosystem could end up being the best in the world. At this juncture, it’s evident that they’ve done a lot right and very little wrong. They’ve even figured out a workable solution to include the provincial lottery into the sports betting mix without screwing the whole thing up. It’s a pretty simple solution–run a competitive, private sector sports betting industry in addition to the lottery.
Simply put, the OLG run PROLINE becomes another sports betting entity competing for business–which is the way it *should* be. The lottery does have a few advantages including ‘first mover status’–they were able to launch single event sports betting on February 1, 2022. They’ve also got a monopoly on retail sports betting at 10,000 locations across Ontario. They get to book the action on Super Bowl LVI without any private sector competition. With the competitive online sports betting market set to launch on April 4, they’ll have to earn business from their players–what a novel concept. Here’s what the PROLINE+ website looks like:
PROLINE+ was developed through a partnership between OLG’s Digital teams and FDJ Gaming Solutions and Sporting Solutions, both owned by FDJ Group of France. Here’s a helpful video explaining things:
PROLINE is also the first official sportsbook partner of the National Football League in Canada. OLG and PROLINE become an official retail lottery and sportsbook partner of the NFL in Ontario and the NFL’s first official sportsbook partner in Canada. You can be sure they won’t be the last. Dave Pridmore, OLG’s Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, reminded residents of Canada’s largest province that for now they’re the ‘only game in town’….well, the only *officially sanctioned* game in town:
“We are so excited to announce this partnership given that PROLINE is the only platform for sports bettors in Ontario to place legal, single event wagers and other exciting bets on the Super Bowl at both retail outlets and online at PROLINE+. This exciting collaboration with a world-class organization like the NFL creates new sports entertainment experiences that give sports fans all across the province an incredible opportunity to get closer to the sport they love through exclusive, one-of-a-kind gameplay.”
Gavin Kemp, NFL Director of Corporate Partnerships, offered a more ‘by the book’ quote:
“As the sports betting landscape continues to evolve, we are excited to partner with OLG in Ontario with the opening of the sports betting market in Canada. OLG will bring NFL fans in the province a whole new experience in sports gaming entertainment. We look forward to working together to create new responsible and innovative ways for football fans to share in the action of the NFL.”
In a perfect world, lottery regulators would be kept as far away from sports betting as possible. If, however, they must be involved this is the way to do it. Unfortunately, most lotteries turn sports betting into an unplayable monopoly gimmick game. The only way to do it right is to not give the lottery a monopoly–this forces them to actually compete for business. If they can offer a product on the same level as private sector providers, they’ll get players. If not, they don’t deserve players. Ontario is fortunate–most of the provinces in Canada have created a lottery run monopoly. That’ll be tough to justify when their citizens start seeing the numbers that Ontario is doing with their competitive marketplace.