Gaming enthusiasts and sports bettors in the province of Manitoba are seeing a rapid increase in the ways they can play, ranging from traditional paper-based lotteries and sports betting games to land-based casinos and bingo halls, as well as online options, including a growing number of offshore-based online sportsbooks, poker rooms and casinos.
Gaming, lotteries and sports betting in the province is strictly controlled by the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba, which regulates all casino facilities, and licenses lottery retailers and VLT operators.
Population of Manitoba
Manitoba had a population of 1,208,268 at the 2011 census. Most of the people in the province live in the Winnipeg Capital Region. In fact, Winnipeg is Canada’s eighth largest Metropolitan Area, with a population of 730,018.
During the early years of colonization, Manitoba was mainly an agricultural and farming region. However, in recent years this trend has changed and now more and more people are moving to the Winnipeg Capital Region. Currently over 55% of the people in Manitoba are living in just one city.
Gaming Laws in Manitoba
Gaming and sports betting activities in Manitoba are regulated by the province's Liquor and Gaming Control Act, which became law in 2014.
In April 2014, the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (LGA) was formed. Previously, gaming in the province was regulated by the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission (MGCC) and the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation (MLC), which commenced operations in 1997.
The functions of the MGCC, which included licensing, regulation, inspection and investigation of gaming operations in the province, are now handled by the LGA. In addition to acting as a regulatory body, the LGA also assists First Nations engaged in the operation of casino facilities with financial and best management practices.
The MLC, which is now known as Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, continues to regulate and license VLT operators, market lottery and sports betting games, and operate two land-based casinos in the city of Winnipeg. The crown corporation also operates PlayNow.com, a recently launched online gaming portal.
Sports betting in Manitoba
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries currently operates sports betting games in the province of Manitoba under the following brand names: PRO-LINE, Point-Spread, Pro-Picks Pools and Pro-Picks Props.
Offline Betting venues in Manitoba
There are quite a few offline operators in Manitoba where you can play casino games such as VLTs and slot machines as well as table games. Two of these casinos are owned and operated by the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries currently:
- Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino (operate numerous VLTs, slot machines, and a Table Game area).
There are also three First Nations-owned casinos which are in operation in Manitoba:
- Sand Hills Casino (possesses over 300 slot machines and table games)
- South Beach Casino (operates 600 slots and table games)
- Aseneskak Casino (has over 180 multi-denominational slot machines and various table games)
Online sportsbooks such as Bodog and 5Dimes have a growing customer base in Manitoba. Established for many years, and known for their superior customer service and the availability of a wide variety of betting options with competitive odds, the online sportsbooks represent the biggest competition to Manitoba's paper-based and burgeoning online sports betting offerings.
In addition, since they operate offshore, online sportsbooks can offer single-game betting options and more sophisticated and competitive live betting options not available to sports betting fans playing PRO-LINE or at PlayNow.com, as well as betting lines that change in real time and are in line with major land-based sportsbooks in Las Vegas.