NBA betting coming back to Ontario after 21-year absence

Ontario’s provincial gambling monopoly is re-adding National Basketball Association games to its parlay sports betting product after a two-decade absence.

On Friday, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) announced that its Pro-Line sports lottery would once again offer NBA games starting with the 2016-17 season. OLG COO Greg McKenzie said his group was “thrilled” to be able to offers sports bettors “even more choices for a better gaming experience.”

OLG was forced to drop NBA games from its Pro-Line roster in 1995, the same year the Toronto Raptors expansion franchise began playing, after the NBA expressed unease about betting – even the milquetoast version that Pro-Line offers – being available in one of its host cities.

The NBA forced the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) to similarly purge NBA games from Pro-Line when the Vancouver Grizzlies joined the league. BCLC ended its NBA ban after the Grizzlies decamped for Memphis in 2001.

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