Each Thursday, Sports Handle recaps all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlights the Game of the Week, and takes a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.
Our top Canadian stories this week
- CFL Week 11 Wagering Preview: Lions Surging Up Futures Boards
- Casino De Montréal Dealers Reach Tentative Labor Agreement With Loto-Québec
Event of the week
Queen’s Plate — Woodbine Racetrack
This Sunday, the 163rd running of the Queen’s Plate will be held at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
The $1 million purse Queen’s Plate, dating from 1860 as the oldest continuously run race in North America, is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and the most popular horse racing event of the year in Canada.
Horse betting, while legal in Canada, is not currently included in Ontario’s new regulated iGaming and sports betting market. Ontarians can wager at over a dozen physical racetracks in the province, off-track betting facilities, or by using two apps — HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets — offered by the Woodbine Entertainment Group.
More than 30,000 patrons are expected to partake in a day of music, food and drink, high fashion, and betting at the grounds. Popular Canadian brother-sister country duo The Reklaws are also scheduled to perform.
Moira is the posted favorite with 5/2 odds after an easy win in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks race last month at Woodbine Racetrack.
2022 Queen's Plate Field & Odds @WoodbineTB!
The 163rd running of The #QueensPlate runs this Sunday, August 21.
Bet the #QP22 at OTB >> https://t.co/nfXUpKP57t pic.twitter.com/Qghb08d8EG
— OffTrackBetting.com (@OTBonline) August 17, 2022
PointsBet curling tourney field revealed
The field for the PointsBet Invitational curling tournament was revealed Thursday morning.
Here are the official brackets for the @PointsBetCanada Invitational 🇨🇦🥌
The FIRST ever single elimination Curling Championship 👀🤯
Yes – it's gonna Rock 🥌🤘🥌🤘
Kudos @CurlingCanada Kudos 🙏#PointsBetInvitational #PBI #CurlingRocks pic.twitter.com/FQpXAycjE4
— Nic Sulsky (@nicsulsky) August 18, 2022
The 16 teams in each gender include the 12 top teams in the World Curling Team Ranking System. Included in the field is Brad Gushue, fresh off winning a bronze medal at the 2022 Olympics, and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Jones, who is also a six-time national champion.
The inaugural event taking place at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from Sept. 21-25 will kick off the 2022-23 curling season in Canada. The bonspiel will also debut a new format to Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, which will feature 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams competing in a single-knockout tournament. The purse will be in excess of $350,000.
Teams will earn $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win, and $24,000 for the victorious women’s and men’s teams.
But the highlight of the event may be the pro-am, which will be held on the evening of Sept. 23. Given PointsBet’s previous strategic Canadian partnerships, it’s possible that several NHL alumni and the Trailer Park Boys could be part of the celebrity field.
TheScore Bet back on the links
A couple months after its unique “Skyline Seats” brand activation at the RBC Canadian Open, theScore Bet will be bringing a VIP greenside experience to this year’s CP Women’s Open golf tournament in Ottawa.
The tournament, which runs from Aug. 25-28 at Ottawa Hunt Golf and Country Club, will feature reserved, front-row seating for theScore Bet patrons on select holes around the course with a branded Greenside Lounge. Guests will enjoy complimentary refreshments and VIP amenities from the tented area.
“The newly created theScore Bet Greenside Lounge expands our event hospitality by bringing all the amenities of a VIP space right to the edge of the green,” said Aubrey Levy, senior vice president of content and marketing, theScore Bet, in an email release. “The Lounges provide an opportunity to comfortably watch an exciting field that includes many Canadian golfers from the best seats on the course, all without having to arrive early or wait in line.”
TheScore Bet will also host a Members Lounge alongside the 17th fairway and will run a “Bet Mode” branded putting challenge for the chance to win prizes.
The operator announced a multiyear partnership with Golf Canada last August, which includes sponsorship of both the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open events.
Odds are not yet available for the event, but the field will include Brooke Henderson, who hails from nearby Smith’s Falls and won the event in 2018, and 14 other Canadians competing in the 48th playing of Canada’s National Open Championship.
theScore Bet is bringing the VIP experience greenside at the CP Women’s Open
— CP Women's Open (@cpwomensopen) August 17, 2022
Raptors schedule announced
The NBA released its 2022-23 regular season schedule Wednesday, and league schedulers have given Canada’s only professional basketball team, the Toronto Raptors, a grueling slate of early opponents.
After opening the season Oct. 19 at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto will play Miami and Philadelphia — both projected to be serious contenders in the Eastern Conference — two times apiece in the opening month.
Full Raptors' 2022-23 schedule: pic.twitter.com/wkre6COO2a
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) August 17, 2022
After the first month of the season, however, schedulers were a little kinder to the only team north of the border.
The Toronto Raptors' 22/23 schedule:
– 2nd least amount of miles travelled by any team
– Tied with the least amount of back-to-backs (12)
– 6th most games having more rest than opponent (21)
— Anil Gogna (@AnilGognaNBA) August 17, 2022
The Raptors have long +4000 odds at FanDuel to win the NBA Championship and are +1000 to win the Atlantic Division. Most Ontario sportsbooks have posted the team’s season win total around 45 or 46. Caesars Sportsbook took heavy early action on the Raptors over 45.5 wins, prompting it to move the line.
According to @CaesarsSports, Toronto is the only team whose win total has increased from its opening number thus far, swinging from 45.5 to 46.5. One Nevada bettor laid $3,000 on Raptors over 45.5 (-110), while an Ontario bettor has $2,300 on Raptors over 45.5 (-115).
— gregwarrenBC (@GregwarrenBC) August 15, 2022
Gaming at Pearson Airport?
An interesting report published in the Toronto Star this week indicated that the organization that runs Pearson Toronto International Report had hired a lobbyist to explore the possibilities of selling cannabis and offering gambling games at one of Canada’s busiest airports to help increase revenue.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority quickly dismissed these possibilities, though, in a statement reported by CBC News. But the agency did acknowledge that the airport needs to find a way to “diversify” its revenue streams.
Clare Michaels, who previously worked in Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s office, intends to talk to officials at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the Ontario Cannabis Store about new Pearson business opportunities.
Pearson has been getting international media attention for all the wrong reasons lately, as COVID-related delays have been wreaking havoc on international passengers due to the strict health and safety protocols in Canada. The pandemic has left the aviation industry in the country in shambles, after many employees of major Canadian airlines were laid off due to reduced operations and then never returned to work once flights resumed on a somewhat normal schedule.
Recently, retired NHL player Ryan Whitney, who is obviously well-traveled after flying around the world as a professional hockey player for nearly a decade, called Pearson “the worst airport in the world” and the “biggest disgrace known to man” in a Twitter post that went viral.
I live at Toronto Pearson International airport. The worst place on earth. I smell so bad. pic.twitter.com/PfdnHcO7Ad
— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) June 6, 2022
Ontario numbers/new AGCO license
Another operator could be joining the iGaming and sports betting party in Ontario shortly.
Kaizen Gaming Canada became licensed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario on Wednesday and can launch betano.ca after securing an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.
According to its website, Betano will offer a sportsbook, live betting, and casino on its platform. Its user-friendly product is currently being used in Germany, Romania, Portugal, Brazil, and Chile.
Some are anticipating the platform could be very popular with Portuguese Canadians residing in Ontario.
We told you about this in April, today, Kaizen Gaming got its ON license for "Betano".
There are over 325k Portuguese Canadians in ON. Many of them are soccer/football mad – & this brand is all over the clubs of @ligaportugal.
Betano-dot-ca billboards coming to Dundas St W. https://t.co/NpSk17dQfA pic.twitter.com/cIU3zxT8u8
— SNBET (@SNBET_ca) August 17, 2022
PlayAlberta targets gray operators with ad
PlayAlberta wants you to know that wagering with gray market operators is “scary.”
In a new ad, the province of Alberta’s only regulated online gambling site has a stern message for bettors: “Don’t gamble with your online security. Play safe at PlayAlberta.ca, Alberta’s only LEGAL online casino.”
The ad, a parody of the horror film The Shining, certainly gets the message across.
All revenue generated through the government-run PlayAlberta platform goes directly back into a general revenue fund for the province to support local programs and services.
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis was one of five Canadian provincial lottery corporations joining recently to form a coalition against illegal online gambling.
“Research shows that the majority of players are unaware of whether an online site is legal in their province or not."
– Patrick Daigle, Atlantic Lottery Corporationhttps://t.co/MqsFUlEMBq @AL_Lottery @GregwarrenBC
— US Bets (@US_Bets) August 5, 2022