The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) has the go ahead to regulate legal single-game sports betting in Nova Scotia, but has yet to give the province the green light. Legal wagers can be placed online with Pro-Line Stadium or in-person (convenience store, grocery store, gas station) at an Atlantic Lottery retailer.
Another legal sports betting alternative online for Bluenosers is to bet with legal offshore sites operating in Canada. These offshore bookmakers have better odds, less restrictions, and plenty of betting promotions for new customers.
There are no retail sportsbooks in the province, however NS does have a couple of casinos (Casino Nova Scotia Halifax and Casino Nova Scotia Sydney). These casinos could possibly host retail sportsbooks sometime down the road.
Nova Scotia Sports Betting
The province of Nova Scotia offers sports betting and gaming enthusiasts a number of different ways to play, including paper-based lotteries and sports betting games, land-based casinos, and thousands of VLTs located in privately-owned liquor-licensed establishments across the province.
Charitable gaming activities available in Nova Scotia include bingo, ticket lotteries, and carnival-style games of chance. In addition to these provincially-operated and regulated gaming options, Nova Scotia players are also taking advantage of the growing number of offshore-based online sportbooks, poker rooms and casinos.
Gaming Laws In Nova Scotia
Gaming and sports betting activities in Nova Scotia are governed by the province's Gaming Control Act, which was passed into law by the provincial legislature in 1995.
The Alcohol and Gaming Division (AGD) of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is responsible for monitoring the gaming industry in the province, and for enforcement of the Gaming Control Act.
The Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries & Casino Corporation (NSPLCC) is a crown corporation mandated to regulate all gaming activities on behalf of the provincial government.
NSPLCC regulates two land-based casinos in the province, and is a shareholder in Atlantic Lottery (ALC) which operates ticket and video lotteries in Canada's four maritime provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
Atlantic Lottery Corporation
Founded in 1976, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC), also known as Loto Atlantique, was established to operate all lottery games in Canada's four maritime provinces. Jointly owned by the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, ALC is headquartered in Moncton, New Brunswick and employs over 600 people across Atlantic Canada.
The ALC is a member organization of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which operates lottery games across Canada. Acting on behalf of NSPLCC, which controls Nova Scotia's stake on behalf of the Province, the ALC works in conjunction with the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation to offer popular lottery games, including Lotto 649 and Lotto Max, and paper-based and online sports betting games, including PRO-LINE and the ProLineStadium.com sports betting portal.
Sports Betting In Nova Scotia
ALC currently operates paper-based and online sports betting games in the province of Nova Scotia under the following brand names: PRO-LINE, PRO-LINE Fantasy, PRO-LINE Futures and Stadium-Bets. Online sports betting games are available for play via ALC's ProLineStadium.com web-based portal.
PRO-LINE is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to predict outcomes on two- to eight-event parlays. Wager formats available to parlay on a PRO-LINE bet include moneyline, point spreads, and point totals. All selections must be correct for the parlay to be declared a winner. The minimum wager is $2, while the maximum wager on a PRO-LINE ticket is $25.
Sports available to wager on include professional and college football, professional and college basketball, baseball, soccer and hockey.
PRO-LINE Fantasy is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to parlay between two and five player/team props selections. The minimum wager is $2 and the maximum wager is $25.
PRO-LINE Futures is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to wager on a single selection from a games list. For example, a games list may provide the option to select a tournament, division or league champion from a list of all active participants. The minimum wager is $2 and the maximum wager is $100.
Like PRO-LINE, Stadium-Bets is an odds-based sports betting game that allows players to predict outcomes on two- to eight-event parlays. Wager formats available to parlay on a Stadium-Bets wager include moneyline, point spreads, and point totals. However, Stadium-Bets wagering is only available online via ALC's ProLineStadium.com portal. The minimum wager is $2 and the maximum wager is $250.
No Single Team Sports Betting
Since single-team sports betting is illegal under Canada's criminal code, the ALC and Nova Scotia casinos offer no single-team sports betting games. ALC's parlay offerings also offer significantly poorer odds compared to online sportsbook options operated off-shore, with the house edge on PRO-LINE wagers estimated at over 30%, compared with single digits for online sportsbooks.
Poker And Casino In Nova Scotia
There are currently two land-based casinos in operation in Nova Scotia, including Casino Sydney in Cape Breton and Casino Nova Scotia in downtown Halifax. Both casinos are wholly owned and operated by Great Canadian Casino Corporation, a publicly traded company that owns and operates casinos, racetracks, and entertainment and hospitality facilities across the company.
While there are no land-based casinos in operation on First Nations reserves in Nova Scotia, the province has entered into a series of agreements that enable First Nations communities to share in the profits of Casino Sydney and retain revenues generated by VLTs located on First Nations lands.
NSPLCC currently has over 2,200 VLTs in operation at liquor-licensed establishments across Nova Scotia, down significantly from the 3,200 that were in place in 2005. VLTs in Nova Scotia generated $105.9 million in revenue in 2013-2014, with revenue forecast to reach $113.1 million in 2014-2015.
Poker rooms are also available at Nova Scotia's land-based casinos, while charitable organizations can apply for licenses to hold fundraising events at licensed facilities.
Other Gaming Options In Nova Scotia
While gaming operations are strictly controlled in the province of Nova Scotia, gaming and sports betting fans still enjoy many alternatives to the limited options available from the NSPLCC, ALC and the Great Canadian Casino Corporation.
Online sportsbooks such as Bodog and 5Dimes have a growing customer base in Nova Scotia. Established for many years, and known for their superior customer service and the availability of a wide variety of betting options with competitive odds, the online sportsbooks represent the biggest competition to Nova Scotia's paper-based sports betting offerings.
In addition, since they operate offshore, online sportsbooks can offer single-game betting options and more sophisticated and competitive live betting options not available to sports betting fans playing PRO-LINE, as well as betting lines that change in real time and are in line with major land-based sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
Major online sportsbooks like Bodog also provide players with a complete online casino experience and online poker rooms, which are not available from ALC or NSPLCC-licensed operators. In addition, comprehensive coverage of horse racing is offered through many online sportsbooks, with action available both at Canadian racetracks as well as major racetracks around the world.