Loto-Quebec adds online in-play sports betting, provided you parlay-vous


Quebec’s provincial gambling monopoly is adding live betting to its online sports betting offering, although federal rules mean you still have to combine live bets into a parlay wager.

On Tuesday, Loto-Quebec’s Mise-o-jeu online sports betting product began offering the ability to place live wagers, marking the first time the provinc’s Espace-jeux gambling site has allowed betting on a game that has already started. The new product will be available for virtually all sports on the site’s current roster.

The live bets on offer will primarily reflect existing pre-game markets, so bettors shouldn’t expect some of the more exotic wagering options available via European online bookmakers. So, in-play okay for game winner, total points scored or which team takes more shots on net – this is Canada, after all – but no bets on which player will be next to score or get sent to the penalty box.

What’s more, Canada’s federal government has yet to legalize single-game wagers, so customers must combine a minimum of two live bets into a single wager, just as they currently do for pre-match betting.

Canada’s parliamentary calendar has been upended by COVID-19, resulting in the fewest number of sitting days in the nation’s history. The few actual sittings – not the virtual kind – that have occurred have been focused on far more weighty items than mulling proposed changes to federal sports betting rules, regardless of the sports leagues’ recent change of heart.

Not to mention the fact that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing ethics blind spots could ultimately topple his minority government sooner rather than later, which would force an election and push betting issues to the back of the legislative queue yet again. 

Looking for ways to excite customers that don’t require federal approval, Loto-Quebec is also introducing partial cash-out options for bettors who enjoy some early parlay success but lack faith in their ability to swing the latter stages of that betting combo (be it a match played the following day or the final period of a hockey game).

Loto-Quebec’s latest fiscal year financial report is long overdue, reflecting the shifting priorities in the province, which has been the hardest hit by COVID-19, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country’s total 8,862 deaths. But when that report does arrive, Espace-jeux’s revenue growth is expected to continue to outshine its land-based counterparts.