This year’s edition of the Grey Cup has been one for the history books, as Canadian provinces have reported a new all-time high of wagering volume placed on the final. The reports of the sports-betting surge come as tremendous news for the CFL which has been trying to collect some more revenue, as it had some financial trouble in the past year and a half.
The Grey Cup was held on Sunday, December 12, 2021, in Hamilton, Ontario, and football fans watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers clash with Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the title. This year’s boom of wagering on the event can be explained via the country’s legalization of single-event wagering back at the end of August 2021, which many sports fans were looking forward to.
After the final, Sports Interaction informed that the amount wagered on this year’s Grey Cup was double the amount of the previous edition. According to the sportsbook, this was due to several factors, including a variety of prop-betting options, as well as the rising popularity of sports betting, and last but not least the highly-awaited rematch between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation reported that its PlayNow sportsbook has witnessed a 260% increase in the number of wagers placed on last Sunday’s final in comparison to the 2019 one. The Crown also informs that it saw a 480% surge in handle this year than the previous edition two years ago. The 2020 Grey Cup was canceled due to the unprecedented situation.
The OLG has also reported a record for bets placed on the final on its recently launched online sportsbook PROLINE+. A representative for the OLG, Tony Bitonti commented that the results of the most placed wager on a Grey Cup final are not surprising as in the summer the country legalized betting on individual sporting events.
Single-sports wagering in the country was introduced on August 27, 2021, and Ontario debuted its new PROLINE+ on the very same day. In addition to betting on a single event, the new online sportsbook offers tons of wagering options on sports such as soccer, tennis, golf, boxing, and MMA. It allows gamblers to place their bets online in a regulated and safe environment.
According to the reports, most of the bettors on PlayNow have backed the winning team the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to snatch the title. While the most popular prop bet on the platform was on the outcome of the pre-game coin-toss, with 2/3 predicting “heads”. OLG bettors have also opted for the Blue Bombers in their bets, as the team collected 68% of the bets, and 72% of the total money placed on wagers for point-spread.
New Sports Gaming Partner
In the summer of 2021, the CFL announced that it has reached a multi-year deal with BetRegal, making the gaming brand the official sports gaming partner to the league. This way the league will try and expand its presence in the sports betting industry. In addition to that, through the deal, Canadian Football Hall of Fame members Damon Allen and Matt Dunigan have also joined the ambassador team BetRegal Legends.
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Grey Cup Wagering Hits New Highs for Books as CFL Leans Harder into Sports Betting”, Covers.com, December 13, 2021