Ontario’s college sports betting rules are vague. College sports aren’t explicitly named as prohibited leagues in Ontario’s Standards for Internet Gaming. The limitations on certain wagers also don’t apply to college sports. So, Ontario college sports conform to the limitations in Ontario. They’re legal, but may not be offered because they don’t enjoy the popularity that college sports do in the United States.
The Undercovered Hurdle For Ontario College Sports Betting
College sports fail to conform to one set of wager limitations. Ontario sportsbooks can only offer odds on events that are “effectively supervised by a sport governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe final rules and enforces codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders.”
The NCAA explicitly prohibits insider sports betting, but Ontario sports organizations are still working on updating their rules and by-laws. The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has blog posts and a white paper on competitive manipulation and created a match manipulation policy template for sports organizations. It’s creating a push toward making Ontario sports organizations mirror the anti-match fixing and insider betting regulations of the NCAA.
But Canadian sportsbooks have already offered college wagers. Several provincial lottery sportsbooks offered lines on the Vanier Cup (the football championship for Canadian universities) in 2021 after single-event sports wagers became legal. So, the heavily implied prohibition on insider betting must satisfy sports betting regulators.
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How Ontario College Sports Betting Handles Age Requirements
Ontario’s Standards for Internet Gaming prohibit certain wagers, but it only prohibits one family of leagues — minor leagues, including the Canadian Hockey League. Canada’s junior leagues include players who are between 16 and 20. Since so many players are underage, Ontario has prohibited sports wagers on its minor and junior leagues.
This contrasts with college athletics where participants are reliably older than 18. As long as the “majority of participants in the event or league are 18 years of age or older,” sportsbooks can offer odds on the event.
But Ontario college sports don’t enjoy the popularity that American college sports do. USports, the governing body of university sport in Canada, isn’t signing multi-billion dollar broadcasting deals. The low demand for Ontario college sports wagers could result in sportsbooks not offering them, but it’s unlikely to be because of a regulatory issue.