When it comes to betting on sports in either British Columbia or Manitoba, many lean on a Canadian-run sports betting site called PlayNow. The website is run out of British Columbia, and regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). As we would for any other sports betting site, we have completed a PlayNow sports review, and are happy to share it with you so you can weigh your options.
PlayNow was founded in 2004, offering a variety of gambling services in British Columbia such as casino games, poker, bingo, lotto, and sports betting. They were the first online sports betting site that is run and operated in Canada, with many province-run sports betting programs following suit and creating an online sportsbook site.
In 2012, Manitoba Lotteries and British Columbia Lottery Corporation partnered up to begin offering a PlayNow type of program in the Prairie province. In 2013, PlayNow Manitoba launched and residents were able to bet on sports online at the designated site.
PlayNow’s game software includes the likes of IGT and Bally, which are huge names in the sports betting world, so the website looks and feels like a legitimate online sportsbook. This is exceptional for a government-run sports betting site, you usually only find that kind of quality at offshore sportsbooks with big budgets.
PlayNow offers mobile compatibility, meaning you can access the site from any device as long as you’re connected to the internet. You can bet from your iPhone, Android, Ipad, or tablet, as well as laptops and desktop computers.
PlayNow Gambling Regulations
Both British Columbia and Manitoba have the same rules and regulations, as they’re both using the same business model and both provinces must abide by the Canadian Criminal Code. There are strict age and residency restrictions at PlayNow, as well as deposit limitations so users cannot overindulge.
PlayNow also logs time users spend on the sports betting site, showing the time you’ve spent per session, as well as purchase history that logs for an entire year. With these restrictions and rules, you get less flexibility when it comes to betting on sports.
Many offshore sportsbooks don’t have deposit limitations that would prevent you from betting any amount you would like to wager. While PlayNow is a great sports betting option that is locally run, we don’t believe it has the chops to keep up with the top online sportsbooks like Bodog or MyBookie.
PlayNow Deposit and Withdrawal Options
When it comes to funding your PlayNow betting account, you will need to make a deposit. Online betting sites work more like a wallet than a store - meaning you will need to deposit an amount of money to use as play money while using the sports betting site. You can load your account from any major credit card like Mastercard, Visa or AMEX, and even Interac Debit cards. The minimum deposit is quite low, at only $5, which is substantially lower than offshore sportsbooks.
You can also play across all options at PlayNow with the same wallet. You can bet on sports, casino, and poker all using the same deposit.
PlayNow Bonuses and Promotions
While the bonuses and promotions at PlayNow won’t measure up to the huge bonuses available at online sportsbooks, they do offer match bonuses and free bets. They offer a 100% match bonus up to $50 for placing your first wager on PlayNow. This means you can deposit up to $50, and you will double your winnings if your bet cashes.
How to Bet on PlayNow Sports
While we’re impressed with PlayNow as a whole for being a pretty functional, aesthetically appealing sports betting site, the main flaws we noticed were in the odds. And we should mention, this is nothing to do with PlayNow in general - the flaws lie in the Criminal Code of Canada and what is allowed and available in terms of sports betting in the country.
In Canada, single-game wagering is illegal. Sports betting is legal, and provinces can regulate and run their own sports betting products - but there can be no single-game wagers. So what does this mean? We can only place multi-leg parlay wagers at Canadian sports betting sites.
PlayNow Parlay Betting
Parlays are multi-leg wagers where you select multiple outcomes of games to increase your odds.
With the PlayNow parlay wager, you are doing just that - you are selecting two to six games you want to bet on, and you can select a variety of different betting types like moneyline wagers, point spreads, totals, or even specials to place on the same bet slip. Doing this will combine the odds and create a much larger payout, but a much riskier bet slip. All of your predictions must be correct for your bet to cash.
Moneyline betting is as easy as it sounds - pick the winner of the game or pick a tie.
Point spreads are fairly common in the sports betting industry and well known around the world. PlayNow point spreads are meant to even the odds between two teams so that the underdog team has a fighting chance. The underdog will have odds with a positive number next to it, and the favored team will have a negative number next to it.
If we’re looking at an NHL matchup between two Canadian Teams:
- Toronto Maple Leafs +2.5
- Vancouver Canucks -2.5
These numbers mean that the oddsmakers believe the Vancouver Canucks will beat the Leafs by more than 3 goals. This means that you will need to decide if you think that the Toronto Maple Leafs will lose by less than 2 goals, or win the game entirely. If you think that is the case, you should pick the Leafs.
If you are with the oddsmakers and think that the Canucks will beat the Leafs by quite a bit, you should pick the Canucks - they only have to win by 3 or more goals for your bet to win.
If you’re playing the totals or over/under, it’s a safe bet to make. If you aren’t a huge sports fan and don’t know a lot about the teams playing, it is a great option because you are betting on the final outcome of both teams combined.
If you’re looking at the same matchup as above, you will need to predict the total number of goals scored by both the Leafs and Canucks collectively. If the Canucks are favored to win by more than 3 goals, we might see a total set at 6.5 by the PlayNow oddsmakers. You just have to determine if you think that both teams will score more or less than 6.5 collectively.
PlayNow has some pretty good prop bets available, actually quite comparable to the amount you’d find at an offshore sportsbook.
Prop bets are events or instances in the game that have nothing to do with the final outcome of the game. Anything under the sun that you didn't bet on above, is up for grabs.
If you want to bet on single games or want the freedom to bet large sums - you’re better off gambling at an online sportsbook. They have fewer restrictions than Canadian-run sports betting sites would have and you can take advantage of some huge bonuses.
While PlayNow is indeed a great product, we feel that it just doesn’t measure up to offshore online sportsbooks. If you enjoy betting on parlays, don’t bet that often, and live in British Columbia or Manitoba, PlayNow could be a great fit for you.