Sports bettors who downloaded the PointsBet app Monday in Ontario may have noticed an important omission from its offerings.
PointsBetting, a unique offering from PointsBet which allows bettors to accrue increased payouts and losses on their wagers using a sliding scale unlike traditional fixed-odds betting, was not available for Ontario consumers.
Ontario launched its regulated iGaming and sports betting market Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET, and PointsBet Canada was one of the first operators to get its product up and running in the early hours of the morning. It quickly became apparent from Twitter postings that the PointsBetting feature had been disabled in the province. It was then confirmed by a spokesperson for Pointsbet who said it was prohibited by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
“Regarding Ontario, we certainly hope to be able to offer our PointsBetting platform at some point down the road. We’ll continue to work with regulators on doing so while also respecting their walk-before-we-run approach,” the spokesperson told US Bets.
The AGCO and iGaming Ontario are the two government entities overseeing the launch of Ontario’s newly regulated market. The AGCO is the regulator for the province while iGaming Ontario is the conduct and manage entity. IGaming Ontario is a subsidiary of AGCO.
PointsBetting runs counter to two AGCO standards
The AGCO says there are two requirements of Standard 4.34 in the AGCO’s Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming (the Standards) that currently apply to the type of betting product in question:
11. Bets which expose players to losses greater than the amount wagered are prohibited.
12. Bets which mimic the structure of financial instruments, products, or markets are prohibited (this applies to spread betting).
“We will continue to identify and implement opportunities to enhance our regulatory framework while ensuring sports betting operators focus on proper player protections and responsible gambling controls for the benefit of Ontarians,” said Raymond Kahnert from AGCO communications in an email.
“One of the key objectives behind Ontario’s new iGaming market is to bring sites Ontarians are already gambling on under regulation so that they can be held to high standards of responsible gambling, player protection and game integrity. To that end, we have built a broad and inclusive sport and event betting framework that allows for the vast majority of sports betting products to be offered as of April 4, 2022.”
The AGCO and iGO have been under fire lately, as changes brought on by the transition to a regulated market in the province have caused serious headaches for Ontario sports bettors who had existing accounts with gray operators or who play daily fantasy sports games.
PointsBetting is available in all 10 of PointsBet’s current U.S. jurisdictions, and is a popular high-risk, high-reward platform being utilized by bettors.
For those not familiar with it, the following video provides a simple explanation of the concept:
As noted in the video, it’s possible for bettors to win a significant amount of money on a single wager, but it’s also possible to lose much more than the initial wager, which violates Standard 4.34 ss. 11 in the AGCO’s standards guide.
For example, if you’re betting a player prop, and that player gets injured early in the game, you’re in big trouble and in line for huge losses when PointsBetting. However, PointsBet does offer the ability to “stop loss” or “cap” your initial wager by using a sliding scale to limit the risk.
PointsBetting became available in the U.S. in 2019. It has since produced both mind-blowing payouts and gut-wrenching losses for bettors using the platform.
A close look at the risky, winning $600,000 wager at @PointsBetUSA, the largest win on the company's 'PointsBetting' platform since its U.S. launch.
Payday came courtesy Ravens' demolition of the Dolphins.
(by @MattRybaltowski) https://t.co/0r4YTfeGGq
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) September 10, 2019
PointsBet in Canada
Australian-based PointsBet has created a Canadian division, PointsBet Canada, that operates out of Toronto. PointsBet has its North American headquarters in Colorado and is the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports.
PointsBet was one of the first operators to acquire an Ontario iGaming license and has secured many strategic partnerships leading up to the launch in Ontario, including those making use of the Trailer Park Boys, NHL Alumni Association, Curling Canada, Ottawa Redblacks, and Alpine Canada.
As of Tuesday morning, 17 fully approved sites were operating in Ontario, with up to 30 total expected to launch in the province shortly.
Photo courtesy of PointsBet.