Proline betting versus online betting

There is one very obvious similarity that Proline betting shares with online betting: it is a platform for betting on your favourite sports by making selections at certain odds. In both cases you decide on a stake while knowing how much you could win at the moment the bet is struck. That, however, may be where the similarities end.

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What is Proline Betting? 

Proline is a betting service provided by most Canadian provinces that allows Canadian-based customers to wager on a variety of sports. The odds are set by the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation). There are however numerous restrictions and limits when it comes to using the product that potential Pro-line players should be aware of.

How to play Proline?

As a bricks-and-mortar operation Pro-line resembles the high-street bookmakers in the UK or the betting booths at a racetrack in the US. This means that you have to physically venture to the outlet, fill out a paper betting slip with your selections, hand over the value of your stake and then go back and collect the winnings in person once again – should you secure a winning ticket. 

There is now an app that can be used to fill out your betting slip wherever you are so you no longer have to fill in one of the paper slips available at the outlet. You do however still have to go to the Pro-line outlet and scan the completed ticket on your app, which then produces the same paper betting slip. This makes things a bit more convenient but you do still have to go to the outlet to place the bet and back again to collect any winnings.  

What sports can you bet on at Proline?

Let’s start with the obvious. Canada’s (winter) national sport of ice hockey, of course! Then there’s pro US and Canadian football and college football, US basketball at both pro and college level. Finally, baseball and soccer, both from the MLS and the top European leagues.

At present one can’t bet on any individual sports like golf or tennis while horse racing isn’t included, either. 

What format do bets take at Proline?

Proline caters for parlay betting only. As a reminder, parlay betting in general terms means that you’re not just betting on the outcome of one sporting event but rather at the result of a minimum of two events. Except at Pro-line you need to bet on a minimum of three different events. The maximum number of events you can wager on as part of your parlay bet is six. For your betting slip to be a winner, all of your selections need to go on and win. As soon as one loses, the slip becomes a loser itself.

The exception is when a ‘push’ comes into play. Let’s say the line for ‘total points’ in a baseball game was eight and you bet that there would be more than eight. In the end, if there were exactly eight points in the game, that selection would ‘push’. That means it’s neither a winner nor a loser and becomes void on your ticket. So if it was part of a three-selection parlay, your ticket would then be made solely up of two selections and you’d have to see whether they went on to win or not. The same thing would happen if the total points line was eight and you’d gone with under eight points on your ticket. 

Can customers mix-and-match on a Proline betting slip?

Yes. A player can choose to have three selections from three completely different sports on their ticket. Similarly, they could go with a soccer team to win a match, an over x points bet on a baseball game and an under y points selection on an NFL game to form their ticket. In other words, not only can they mix and match different sports but also the type of bet on each.

There’s also the possibility of picking two selections from the same match and placing them on the same ticket. So, if the Ottawa Senators were in action against the Montreal Canadiens, you could have the Canadiens as one selection and over 4.5 goals in the game as a second selection, seeing as the two outcomes are (largely) unrelated.

Are there betting limits and restrictions with Proline?

Yes. In several ways. Firstly, players can’t just make up a random number like 52.6 CAD and wager that on their ticket. There are 15 different, specific amounts customers can bet in terms of their stake, ranging from 2 CAD to 100 CAD. Secondly, and in the name of responsible gambling, no one player is allowed to wager more than 100 CAD a day. And lastly, no individual ticket can be worth more than 600,000 CAD, while the maximum payout per day of any sports game by Pro-line is 5,000,000 CAD.

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What are the differences between Proline betting and Online Betting? 

Online betting is wagering over the internet via a laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet or occasionally over the phone. It’s the preferred form of betting worldwide nowadays, especially throughout Europe. These are the key differences between online betting and Proline betting:

Convenience

Online betting means wagers can be placed from anywhere as long as players have an internet connection and suitable device, as opposed to having to physically go to an outlet to strike the bet. It also means that deposits can be made using credit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets and that withdrawals can be made the same way, without having to resort to the use of cash.

Variety of wagers 

Parlay betting involves choosing at least three and at most six selections, while online betting allows you the greater freedom to place as many selections as you wish. That could be a bet on just one event or, taking it to the other extreme, as many as 10 or 12, all within the same ticket.

Similarly, online betting offers a far greater variety of sports to bet on such as tennis, golf, horse racing, rugby, lacrosse, athletics and motorsports – and that also means more variety of events within the same sport. For example, a customer wishing to place a bet on the slightly obscure Danish basketball league would be able to do so with the online betting company, but not with Pro-line. As a second example, you can check out the huge variety of soccer leagues covered by Mr Green.

There is also a greater variety of betting markets within each sport. So, in online betting you could choose to back a particular hockey player to score a goal, whereas on Proline, you can’t.

Lastly, online betting allows you to bet’ in-play’ or ‘live’ as it’s also known, meaning you can bet on a match after it has started, something you can’t do with Proline.

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Better odds

This is by far the most important thing you’ll read about the differences between the two betting platforms in this article. The difference in the odds between the two is like night and day. Online bookmakers generally insert a margin of between 5% and 10% into their odds as a way of staying in business, with that margin covering costs such as staff, rent and office equipment. With Pro-line, it’s not unusual for the odds to have a margin of as much as 60%.

Recently, a website conducted an experiment where they selected five NHL teams to win their matches and took the odds offered by a well-known online betting company on the 5-way bet and compared it to the odds offered by Pro-line.

The odds on the latter were ‘just’ 18.46 while with the online betting company, they were 48.17. Had the ticket won, a customer placing a 10 CAD bet with each of the two operators would have pocketed 307.15 CAD more with the online betting company, a difference of 161%.

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Why online betting is the better choice

It seems incredibly dated that in an era of on-demand TV and movies, companies delivering every type of food you can think of to your door and internet shopping, that you have to go to a specific place to place bets and cash in bets. That’s an inconvenience but it’s in the quality of the product itself that the greatest differences lie.

Online betting companies are well aware that sports betting customers come in all shapes and sizes and therefore have different needs in terms of the amounts they wish to stake, currencies they want to use and payment methods they want to put into practice. Or that customers want to bet on ‘off-the-beaten track sports’ that they particularly like or specific betting markets within that sport that they consider themselves experts on. Some customers love to sit back and watch a game and get a feel for it before placing their bet and that explains why live betting has become so popular.

Online betting companies can in some cases employ well over 1,000 members of staff to research those events and price them up, while others work on providing an easy-to-use website and another team works on dealing with customer queries over the internet or on the phone.

Then of course there are the odds. Returning a long-term profit is easier said than done in any form of sports betting and that’s with ‘fair’ house margins being used. When an operator is taking an enormous cut on each and every bet laid, it becomes virtually impossible to beat the house in the long-term, as the example where the two types of operators were compared demonstrates.

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