We made it!
After months of waiting, Ontario residents can now place online sports bets from the comfort of the couch, kitchen, office … you get the point!
As of Monday, April 4, the Ontario sports betting market stepped into a new era with an explosion of options.
Which sports betting operators are live and which are still coming to Ontario?
Ontario sports betting apps already launched
All sorts of big online sportsbooks are here and still expected to come to Canada’s largest province. Even this expansive list could be incomplete, though we’ll update it with more names as we learn more details.
Any talk of BetMGM Sportsbook not coming to Canada was put to rest when the company signed Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to a multi-year deal as a brand ambassador in the summer of 2021. The Great One’s endorsement is about as good as it gets north of the border, as BetMGM hopes to continue some positive US momentum.
Gretzky gives MGM, a US casino and gaming giant that otherwise has no presence in Canada, instant credibility. BetMGM’s chief revenue officer Matt Prevost admitted BetMGM was looking toward potential expansion into Canada when it signed Gretzky. The brand also signed Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, a first for a current player in the four major North American professional leagues.
BetMGM Sportsbook went live on launch day with their fantastic product. Click below to signup.
You saw BetRivers Sportsbook ads in Ontario during Winter Olympics coverage.
BetRivers launched a free-to-play online casino and sportsbook in Ontario in October, and they were ready to flip the switch on real-money casino gaming and sports betting the minute they got the OK from the province.
It’s a legit sports app and has a great online casino as well. And it’s live!
One of the biggest casino and gaming brands in the world, Caesars has actually been in Ontario since the 1990s. The Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino will make the perfect brick and mortar home base for the new Caesars Sportsbook app the company unveiled in the US this past August following its integration with William Hill.
Caesars is here, though we’ll see if JB Smoove will blanket Canadian airwaves as he does in American commercials. Caesars officials have hinted at less ad spending, though how Ontario fits into the marketing plans is not as clear.
The Score TV Network and its popular sports media app were originally Canadian. Plus, Score Media and Gaming was a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange before US gambling giant Penn National Gaming acquired it in a $2 billion deal in August. Without a doubt, theScore Bet is coming to Ontario.
theScore was ready to roll right away and they are live!
TheScore Bet threw a huge launch party in Toronto on Sunday to get registration going and have a little fun. They’re taking advantage of the home-court advantage.
PointsBet Canada Sportsbook
PointsBet is all in on our country, announcing in July it had launched a Canadian company to get its expansion into Ontario going with PointsBet Canada. To run it, the Australian overseers hired former Rogers Communications Senior VP Scott Vanderwel as CEO.
PointsBet promised to build a truly Canadian platform that will bring jobs to the country and offer Canadian sports fans an entertaining and engaging sports betting experience. Need some proof? PointsBet partnered with the Trailer Park Boys for some hilarious messaging.
PointsBet is live in Ontario!
In October 2021, FanDuel Canada named former Deloitte Canada, Rogers Communications, and PepsiCo Canada exec Dale Hooper its new general manager. Hooper immediately said he looked forward to bringing the No. 1 Sportsbook to Canada.
Of course, FanDuel is Canada’s other top DFS operator and its long-term Canadian strategy will be all about becoming the Ontario market’s leading sportsbook as well. Since they shut down DFS, that’s an indication about how much they’re banking on sports betting.
Check out more about FD’s Ontario prospects here. FanDuel is live in Ontario and making a push for dominance here too!
Another big European sportsbook taking bets from Canadians in the grey market, bet365 Ontario Sportsbook made the move in Canada that it hasn’t taken in a major way yet in the US.
Bet365 is great with live soccer betting. Bet365 has been waiting patiently for a North America splash.
It’s been a bit of a rocky transition, but bet365 is live here in Ontario!
A major European sportsbook brand that operates in Canada’s grey market, Unibet Sportsbook took action from Canadians because there was no law on the books making it illegal. There’s also was no one policing the offshore sportsbook operators who do. They are under the legal umbrella now and are a tax-paying entity (or “revenue sharing”, as it’ll be known in Ontario).
The Kindred Group, which operates Unbiet, has hired a country manager in Amanda Brewer, who has been active as an advocate for a regulated market. Unibet is live in Ontario!
The name of the game for Rivalry Sportsbook is esports. That’s what the brand specializes in, and the market it hopes to corner as a long-term play in the space.
The brand went live in Ontario early on Launch Day morning!
888sport was a grey market brand (meaning it operated in Canada but is licenced elsewhere) that has gone live in the regulated market, registering with the AGCO. It’s ready to roll early on too, cutting a deal with iGO.
With live-betting features like the Heat Map, and a reputation entrenched with soccer fans across the globe, you’d think 888 could find a niche.
888sport is live in Ontario!
Royal Panda offers sports betting too!
The LeoVegas Group brand offers rugby, cricket and snooker among its sports betting offerings.
They are live in Ontario!
The Estonia brand is live!
Maybe the best motto in the market? “Stay cool and bet responsibly.”
Honestly, it was a bit of a surprise to see them on the starting line with iGO. Intriguing.
Sports Interaction Sportsbook
Sports Interaction Sportsbook calls itself Canada’s Sportsbook and Casino. As a platform, SI has been taking Canadian bets since 1997 making it a global pioneer in online gambling. However, SI didn’t join the regulated market right away.
The context of the platform is complicated, most recently including its recent sale to Entain. Considered broadly, SI is a grey market online sportsbook, casino, and poker site run by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke. The site is licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and operates from Mohawk First Nations land in Quebec. However, according to MCK, the KGC has the authority to license and regulate gaming due to the sovereign rights of Indigenous peoples to govern their own affairs. To date, no government has challenged that right in court.
As far as the Sports Interaction Sportsbook goes, players have a massive selection of sports to bet on beyond the usual, including esports, cycling, snooker and darts.
bwin Sportsbook was another grey market online sportsbook, casino, and poker site from Europe that operated in Canada thanks to a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which runs out of First Nations land in Quebec. It’s now part of the regulated market.
It falls under the umbrella of Entain and is also licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to run popular online poker and casino sites including partypoker.com and partycasino.com.
If bwin wants to keep taking Ontario’s action, they’re best to transition to the legal market. Entain has indicated the brand will do just that.
Proline Plus Sportsbook
This one isn’t new but we wanted to include the original operator, the Ontario, Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Proline Plus Sportsbook. Proline added single-game sports wagering in August, rolling out the Plus platform. It also just recently added single-game wagering to its options for thousands of retailers across the province.
Proline has cut promotional deals with the NFL and NHL, suggesting OLG plans Proline to be a real player.
Sports betting brands that may come to Ontario later
Already one of the country’s two biggest DFS operators, DraftKings Sportsbook has been promising it will become the king of online sports betting in Ontario since early 2021.
Canada was definitely on the sports betting operator’s mind when it struck a deal with the NHL, including bringing betting-focused, data-driven information to new NHL broadcasts on Turner Sports. CEO Jason Robins has warned not to expect American-like dominance from the Boston brand.
However, DK wasn’t up and operating in Canada right at launch. Don’t expect to wait long though, though here’s the latest on when DraftKings will launch in Canada.
We know the name of the brand tasked with helping a legacy mainstream media company into the future, but we’re still waiting on the app.
The owner of the Toronto Star and a dozen other smaller newspapers across the country announced in March 2021 it plans to launch an online casino and sportsbook betting brand whenever it can. The plan is to leverage the name, its Ontario roots, and the fact the profits will stay in the province, to gain market share.
That name, as announced in late February, will be NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is matched up with global game supplier Playtech and with Kambi for sports betting technology.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook
Once run by Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, Golden Nugget Sportsbook never made much of a dent for US sports betting market share.
Now under DraftKings, the GN brand offers fair odds in US but not many promos or bells and whistles. Make no mistake about it, this is a casino brand, and that’s the value GN brings to DK. GN could even skip Ontario for sports betting altogether.
Shaq and Ben Affleck couldn’t help a rough start for WynnBet Sportsbook in the US.
Though it’s been quiet in many US states, perhaps a fresh start in Canada is all the sports betting brand needs.
With visibility at a handful of NBA arenas in the US, the Betway Sportsbook owners did not spend that money for nothing.
If Betway ultimately enters the regulated market, Ontario could be a key North American locale for Betway owner Super Group Holding Company to break the brand through in the space.
Was BetRegal Sportsbook signing a partnership deal with the CFL a clear sign the brand intends to leave the grey market and join the regulated side?
Some say so, but we’ll find out soon enough from the North Bay brand.
Insert long-winded corporate history of PokerStars and its parent company here: Euro-gaming giants Paddy Power and Betfair merged in 2016 and the pair acquired FanDuel in 2018. In March 2019, Paddy Power Betfair rebranded as Flutter Entertainment, and that company bought The Stars Group later that year. Of course, The Stars Group is the company behind PokerStars and its PokerStars Sports online betting service. It’s also behind Fox Bet, an online sportsbook born out of a partnership between The Stars Group and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. Add it up and FanDuel Sportsbook, PokerStars Sports, and FOX bet are all sons of the same father.
By the way, much like PokerStars, the PokerStars Sports online betting service has been operating in what is considered a grey market across Canada for a while now. That means you can already place bets with PokerStars Sports in Ontario. Plus, you may see ads for the free-to-play .net version of the service that acts as a conduit to the real-money gaming version of the sportsbook during major sporting events. Of course, none of this means PokerStars Sports and Flutter won’t want to be good corporate citizens here in Canada and ultimately apply for a licence to operate wherever they can.
A big Kindred Group brand in the UK, 32Red Sportsbook could be making its way across the pond.
Bet99 Sportsbook signed one of the biggest names in Canadian sports, as Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a spokesperson for its free-to-play game, according to PlayOntario.
A Kahnawake Gaming Commission licensed sportsbook that’s basically an offshore operator in the midst of a TV ad spending spree with commercials during major sporting events featuring former UFC champ Georges St-Pierre and other Canadian personalities.
Of course, many of the ads are for the free-to-play .net version of Bet99 and not the real-money gaming version of the sportsbook, but we all know what’s really for sale. Bet99 is likely to go legit and apply for a license to operate in Ontario before all is said and done.
Fox Bet Sportsbook
See the long-winded corporate history of PokerStars and its parent company above for more. But basically, Fox Bet Sportsbook is a less popular version of PokerStars Sports and FanDuel, they’re all owned by the same company and FOX is kind of a US brand. Despite the Fox brand’s strong recognition in the US, the brand hasn’t gone far in terms of relative handle and revenue.
Since PokerStars Sports is already in Canada and FanDuel Sportsbook is on its way, FOX Bet has to be considered a longshot to launch.
Hard Rock Sportsbook
Hard Rock Sportsbook hasn’t exactly been the most aggressive when it comes to expansion.
They’re in New Jersey and Iowa and set to become the whole ball of wax in Florida, but sports betting is legal in more than just those three states. That said, Hard Rock is coming to Ottawa, with the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino getting a facelift and a name change when the global pandemic will let it.
That’s why Hard Rock Sportsbook is a definite maybe to launch online in Ontario as well.
An Australian bookmaker with a horse racing background, CrossBet Sportsbook has announced plans to enter the Ontario market.
A technology deal with Betmakers would aid the Canadian launch. CrossBet is also reportedly preparing for a New Jersey launch.
The men’s lifestyle brand has branched out into sports betting. Armed with a Kambi partnership, MaximBet Sportsbook has previously indicated plans to launch in Canada this year.
The horse racing brand, which also offers soccer, golf and cricket betting is coming over the United Kingdom. Fitzdares is already registered with the AGCO.