The games are run by various provincial governments. The odds are not great because of the need to parlay a minimum of 3 games.
In recent years, Sport Select has come under increasingly heavy criticism from Canadian gamblers due to the poor odds it offers (from the gambler's perspective). A private bookmaker licensed in the United Kingdom or Nevada generally maintains an overround (or "vig") of about 110%, meaning the bookmaker can expect to pay out $100 for every $110 that is wagered. In Canada, however, the overround for an individual match in Sport Select odds often exceeds 130%. To make matters worse for the bettor, the parlay requirement compounds the overround - the actual vigorish is a minimum of 160% but can climb to well over 300% (if six selections are made). In jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom where genuine compeititon is allowed, bookies often pay bonuses for winning parlay bets to help offset the compounded vig. Sport Select does not.
Another controversial frustration for PRO·LINE players in Atlantic Canada is the occurrence of Atlantic Lottery (ALC) 'capping' wagering on combinations and, on rare occasion, individual selections. This occurs when a significant amount of wagering is placed within a short span of time, typically on a specific combination of outcomes. The reasoning behind having such caps is to dissuade professional, or 'block', bettors from attempting to take advantage of potential flaws in the posted odds, and thus limits the liability for the corporation on a given combination of outcomes. Typical block betting behaviour involves placing large sums (often thousands of $) on a very small amount of combinations, trying to focus on perceived flaws as much as possible. Ultimately the PRO·LINE game is meant to be recreational and not for professionals. Unlike online-only betting operations where all transactions must be submitted by identity verified accounts, Atlantic Lottery operates across a network of retailers where wagers are accepted anonymously, thus making it more susceptible to such 'block' bettors. The capping of combinations serves to limit pro-betting while keeping all outcomes open for betting, in any other combination. If a combination of outcomes is capped, any subsequent transaction submitted to the system attempting to wager on this particular combination is rejected. This can be an annoyance to non-professional (casual) bettors legitimately trying to wager on a capped combination, but experienced bettors have come to understand the reasoning and adjust their wagers accordingly.
Though most experts agree that the odds offered on Sport Select are such that even the sharpest punter would have no hope of making a profit in the long term, some have. See, for instance, the 2007 Tax Court of Canada case R. v. Leblanc, in which two brothers netted $5.5 million on $50 million in bets over five years. The Tax Court ruled the profit was not taxable.