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Canada OK’s sports betting

May 21, 2002 11:04 AM

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is getting into sports betting. And software by VirtGame Corp. will help power it.

The province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission approved a contract for VirtGame to market and sell operating software to gaming outlets.

"The ability to offer sports wagering is a landmark event in the history of gaming in Ontario, and we are pleased to be an integral part of this event,’’ VirtGame CEO Scott Walker said.

Though similar to over-the-counter betting systems in Nevada, Ontario plans to move one step at a time. For starters, only parlays and teaser bets will be accepted. Not coincidentally, these types of wagers have the highest hold of any sports bets here.

VirtGame, which has offices in San Diego and Las Vegas, said that breaking into the Canadian market has big implications for future Internet deals.

"It shows that we are already deploying our software in land-based operations and will be in the best position to bring interactive gaming to casinos,’’ Walker told GamingToday. "In my opinion, interactive gaming will go forward first in Canada.’’

Noting that Western Canadian Lottery Corp. has already solicited bids for an Internet lottery, Walker added, "We are the best bet to bring the gaming and lotteries of Canada into the interactive gaming world.’’