It’s a long way from high-stakes horse racing and casinos in Buffalo, New York, to the stunning vantage point of TD Place stadium in Ottawa. Here is how the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup gets made, and the Canadian gambling industry doesn’t want you betting on it.
This season’s Grey Cup is scheduled for a Sunday, Nov. 25, slot at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. It will be played between the Ottawa Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders in Ottawa. Bettors can currently place bets either in person at OLG or online via its website. The games that are being played in the days leading up to the actual game can be secured more easily via informal referrals or online chat, a process that is quickly becoming less beneficial.
“There’s much more pressure on [turnovers] than ever before,” said Mike Slattery, managing director of OLG wagering and global marketing. “People are doing it all over the world.”
In the U.S., people can bet on Grey Cup games at Nevada casinos, but through the state’s gaming commission. There are a handful of other provinces, including British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, where people are allowed to place Grey Cup bets through the province’s gaming commission.
The Canadian betting industry is watching the situation closely. And they are watching more than just this season’s Grey Cup. They are also tracking the emergence of football as a sport in Canada, from two men who are putting the Bowl’s prize up for bids this year and next, and from what’s been an historically strong season for the Grey Cup in the United States.
“The path is difficult, but it isn’t impossible,” Slattery said. “There are a few key things we need to work out.”
Bettors in Ontario can bet on the Grey Cup directly with OLG, or they can wager on it through an agent on an offshore gaming website such as the famed illegal site, Bodog.
Slattery said OLG has confirmed with several offshore gambling sites that they would not be able to accept wagers in time for this year’s Grey Cup. Asked about online betting conducted through an agent, Slattery replied that such games are “almost always processed manually” by OLG.