MANITOBA’S NOVELTY BETTING PIQUES INTEREST

Academy Awards a big draw for novelty bettors

BC Lotteries Corp’s online Play Now website is getting a fair amount of U.S. media attention with its recently introduced novelty betting offer in Manitoba and British Columbia.

"It's meant to capitalize and bring that entertainment factor to more casual people that wouldn't normally wager on something like a regular sports bet," Chris Fairclough, senior communications officer with B.C. Lotteries Corp. told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Fairclough spoke about B.C. Lotteries Corp’s regulated offer as opposed to punters placing bets on unlicensed operators’ websites saying: “These are sites that aren't legal in Canada but people play on them anyway. Instead of going the prohibition route and trying to shut all those places down, we're offering a product that is safe and secure and gives back to the people and repatriates the money. So if you are placing this type of wager, you're doing so in a safe, secure environment.”

"Would you rather your money go back to paying for education and health care or would you rather it go to pay for someone's yacht in the Caribbean? We'll leave that to the players to decide."