Proline is a sports betting lottery run by various lottery corporations across Canada. For the purposes of this page I’m going to focus on Proline in Ontario because it is the Proline version that I have the most familiarity with and it’s also the one the most visitors to this website will be familiar with.
The Western Lottery Corporations version of Proline is very similar to that of the OLG, so this page will apply to Western Canadians, and I have made a specific Proline Stadium page for Atlantic Canada’s version of Proline.
In Ontario Proline is used as a blanket term for all of their sports lottery games, including Point Spread and Pro Picks, but in this article I’m going to be focusing solely on the actual Proline game.
How It Works
To bet on Proline you will have to first head down to your local OLG retailer. Most convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores will offer and OLG booth where you can fill out your Proline selection sheet. After filling out your selections bring your filled out sheet to the cash in order to pay and receive your ticket. Make sure you keep this ticket safe because if you win you will need it to redeem for your winnings.
With Proline you have to pick between 3 and 6 winners in a parlay bet. In order for your bet to win each of your picks must win that night. The payout is found by multiplying the odds associated with each selection by each other and then multiplying this total by your risk amount. Check out the parlay betting page for more info.
If all of your picks do win then you can redeem your ticket for cash winnings at any OLG retailer.
There are 5 options for the game outcome, as well as an over/under for every game offered through Proline. Here are the rules associated with each pick for the sports offered on Proline:
Odds – Proline vs Online Betting Sites
The main knock against Proline is that the odds are horrible. In fact the OLG’s profit margin is 40.32% on sports betting, which is just an insane amount. This percentage is over all of the games under the Proline label, but the most popular by far is the regular Proline option. This 40.32% profit margin is in contrast to online sportsbooks that are happy with a 4.5% profit margin on wagers (and this doesn’t even include the bonus money they award).
Here is a look at the Proline odds compared to the odds at SportsInteraction.com for NHL games from a random Friday (when I updated this page).
You win $61.31 betting through Sports Interaction and only $27.50 betting Proline (the $2 wager is included in the payout). That’s a difference of $33.81 on a $2 bet! It is very normal for you to win double betting online compared to Proline.
I look at Proline as an additional tax on the ignorant. Proline odds are so bad that in 2007 the Tax Court of Canada ruled any profits made from Proline are not taxable because it’s impossible to earn a profit over the long term due to the poor odds!
Proline Odds Video
Advantages of Betting Online over Proline
In addition to the obvious reason of the horrible odds being offered through Proline and the fact that you can win close to double as much betting online there are other a few other huge reasons to switch to betting online rather than through Proline.
No Betting Restrictions
With Proline you are restricted in the fact that you MUST place a between 3 and 6 team parlay bet (no single bets), your wager must be a set amount between $2 and $100 (there is a maximum you are allowed to win) and you are only offered specific games to bet on. After you have placed a few bets online you will feel like you are in prison betting through Proline.
Time and Convenience
To bet on Proline you have to make a special effort to visit a local OLG retailer, fill out your ticket (hoping that there are no games blacked out from too many bets) and then return home to watch the games. If your ticket is a winner then you have to head back down to the OLG store to collect your winnings. Online you can bet from your computer or even your mobile phone and your winnings are automatically added to your betting wallet after the bet is settled.
You will never see Proline give free bets to players as a bonus or offer a promotion that might affect their bottom line. Each of the online sportsbooks I recommend for Canadians offers a great sign up bonus and some solid subsequent loyalty bonuses and promotions. The free money that you receive by betting online adds to the horrible Proline odds to make the switch to betting online a no-brainer for the money factor alone.