Canada loves Super Bowl LIII
January 30, 2019 3:00 AM
by Ian Cameron
The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the entire year in the United States. That is not up for debate.
I’ve lived in Canada my entire life and some of you might be wondering how my country celebrates the Super Bowl.
In Canada, Super Bowl Sunday is treated very much like the all-day party that it is south of the border. The Super Bowl has been watched in Canada by anywhere from 4 million to as many as 11 million viewers per game over the last several years.
There are plenty of Super Bowl parties hosted across the country at homes and in restaurants and bars. As an example, in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, there are many local establishments throwing parties for the game that are open to the public. End Zone Bar & Grill and Shoeless Joe’s are two very popular bars in the city that are hosting Super Bowl parties for the big game Sunday between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
Canadians have access on their basic cable and satellite subscriptions to the three American networks that always rotate broadcasting the Super Bowl (CBS, FOX, NBC). But for many years, if you tuned into the network airing the Super Bowl, the always popular American Super Bowl advertisements would be substituted by Canadian based ads which drew the ire of many people in this country watching the Super Bowl.
The complaints were so extreme that the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission) starting in 2017 ruled that simultaneous substitution on American networks during the Super Bowl would no longer be allowed. Now people in Canada get the uninterrupted Super Bowl broadcast on the American network, including all the Super Bowl commercials.
Canada is lagging behind the United States from a sports betting standpoint as state-by-state sports betting legalization is gradually taking place south of the border. There is no single game wagering allowed currently in Canada. There was a bill (C-221) tabled at the House of Commons in Canada years ago regarding the allowance of single game sports wagering. But it got voted down in 2016 and no dialog has really been re-established since then.
If you want to bet the Super Bowl here, you have to either place your wagers online via offshore sportsbook markets such as Pinnacle, 5Dimes, Bookmaker/CRIS among others or use your province’s lottery and gaming corporation means of betting.
Proline is the one for the province of Ontario. But with betting through your local lottery and gaming corporation or, in this case, Proline, you can only bet parlays and must put multiple games together on a single ticket. It must be anywhere from 3-6 games.
You can place sports wagers through the local lottery either online or at gas stations as well as local grocery and convenience stores. The odds that are offered are not what you see at an actual sportsbook. Proline uses a system that bases odds on margin of victory with a road or home team with the odds you receive improving or decreasing as the margin range goes up or down on either the favorite or underdog.
Bettors can also bet a “tie” wager which in football would win on either side when the final margin of victory is within 3 points. The actual Vegas and offshore lines for the Super Bowl (currently New England -2.5 with total of 56.5) are blatantly disregarded by Proline and all other lottery based sports wagering options in Canada in place of this awkward “margin” system.
There is nowhere in Canada other than via online sportsbooks to bet the actual Super Bowl betting line of New England -2.5 points.
There is no authentic sports betting experience for the Super Bowl in Canada right now as far as I’m concerned and there won’t be until single game wagering is legal here and we start to see the opening of sportsbook operations at casinos and horse racetracks across the country.
However, make no mistake about it, the Super Bowl will be a party for many Canadians coast-to-coast when the Super Bowl kicks off Sunday. That is a sure bet.
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