The Sports Betting Canadian

Sport Select is the group of sports betting games offered by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation to residents of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  Similar games such as Proline, Point Spread, Pools and Props are also offered under different names in different parts of the country.  For example in Ontario the games are simply known as Proline, while in BC they are known as Sports Action.

How It Works

To bet on any of the Sport Select games you have to first visit a WCLC lottery retailer.  Most convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores will all have a WCLC booth where you can fill out your Sport Select sheets and purchase your ticket.  With Sport Select you have Proline, Point Spread, Over/Under, Pools and Futures to choose from to make your bets.  These are very similar games to the ones offered by the OLG, so check out that page for a bit more detailed information on each option.

If your ticket ends up being a winner then you can redeem it for cash at any WCLC lottery outlet.

Sport Select version of Proline differs from both the OLG’s and the ALC’s version.  In Sport Select’s version the ties may not be the same as the other versions across the country.  For example, in football a game that is decided by 3 or fewer points is considered a tie (T). For a win the home (H) or visiting (V) team must win by 4 or more points.  I strongly suggest checking out the Sport Select how to play page at the Sport Select website before placing bets through Sport Select in order to fully understand the rules and what it is you are betting on.

Odds – Sport Select vs Online Betting Sites

The problem with Sport Select is that the odds are simply horrible when compared to online betting site odds.  It’s a little bit harder to tell with Sport Select than some of the other provincial sports lotteries because their Tie scenarios are hard to replicate online.  With football the game is considered a Tie if it’s decided by 3 or less points, while in basketball a Tie is considered any game decided by 5 points or less.  These criteria are very strange and difficult to replicate at online betting sites.

For this reason I’m using their odds for the over/under option for NFL games because the 1.70 odds on either side of the total is similar in value to the (V, T, H) outcome odds, but much easier to quantify and compare to odds from an online sportsbook.

Here is a look at the exact same parlay bet at compared to Sport Select for a four outcome parlay betting NHL totals.  I chose four games with the same total at both SIA and Sport Select in order to show the true difference in payout.

**This example was updated with odds from January 24th, 2023.

The payout at Sports Interaction is $145.79, while it’s only $88.50 through Sport Select.  That’s a difference of $57.29!  You would win almost double betting online compared to betting through Sport Select in this example, and if you add more legs to the parlay the difference becomes even more pronounced.

The Sports Betting Canadian

In my view Sport Select is an added tax on Western Canada residents who enjoy betting on sports.  To be treated fairly you will have to open an online betting account.

Sport Select Odds Video

Other Disadvantages of Sport Select

On top of the horrible odds that are offered by Sport Select there are several other reasons why betting with Sport Select is far inferior to placing your bets online.

Not Enough Betting Options

With Sport Select you can generally only bet on basketball, hockey, soccer, football and baseball.  Even then the leagues you are offered are generally only the biggest leagues in North America or possibly Europe in the case of soccer.  Online sportsbooks allow you to bet on pretty much any sport under the sun.  They also offer far more betting options for each of these sports.  You can bet on different things within the games, more prop betting opportunities, futures wagers, etc.

Online sportsbooks also have more betting features that allow more betting flexibility such as live betting, cash-out options, alternate spreads and more.

Takes Too Much Time

To bet on Sport Select you have to make your way to a lottery outlet, fill out the selection sheet and buy your ticket.  Then if you win you have to make another trip back to the lottery retailer to collect your winnings.

With an online betting account you can place your bets from your computer or even your mobile phone.  When a bet is settled your winnings are automatically added to your account and available for use or withdrawal.