Ontario has a brand new sportsbook.
Caesars Sportsbook at Caesars Windsor Casino is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday at 3 PM to celebrate. The grand opening, featuring former Edmonton Oiler and Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr, will take place outside Legends Sports Bar.
Also expected to attend is Windsor West MP Brian Masse, who took up the push to legalize single-event sports betting after former Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin retired.
Windsor’s mayor, Drew Dilkens and Caesars Windsor’s president Kevin Laforet will also be on hand for the celebration.
Modern design welcomes bettors to Ontario’s first full-service sportsbook
Ontario’s first full-service retail sportsbook features 22 large-screen HD LED TVs with start-of-the-art sound.
In addition to the big screens, Ontario sports bettors have access to three betting windows and seven self-serve kiosks.
Sports betting kiosks are available 24/7 outside the poker room and inside the House Sports Lounge. Minimum bets are $5. At the kiosks, the maximum bet is $1000 for Caesars reward program members and $500 for everyone else.
According to the casino, the betting parlour boasts dedicated seating permitting unparalleled views. Visitors can also indulge in fan-favourite food and beverage selections from Legends.
From the media release:
“The elevated, modern design offers an inviting, lounge-like space to enjoy sports events in a luxurious environment worthy of a Caesars.”
The casino dropped a sneak peek of space on Twitter in early January. The tweet included a link to the Caesars Windsor Sportsbook site, which offered more details.
Opening just latest development in Ontario’s Gambling evolution
Ontario’s new sportsbooks are a side effect of recent changes in the industry.
First, the federal government passed Bill C-218, which legalized single-event sports betting. Conservative MP Kevin Waugh led the charge, with Masse providing backing support. The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act succeeded after multiple bills before it failed over recent years.
However, the feds left regulation of the new betting activity up to the provinces. While most maintained traditional lottery monopolies, Ontario chose to open its market to private operators.
Interestingly, retail sportsbooks could have opened in Ontario any time after single-event sports betting came into effect. Unfortunately, it took some time for Ontario Lottery and Gaming, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission and Ontario’s land-based operators to get their ducks in a row.
The delay was likely related to AGCO and OLG’s focus on Ontario’s online casino and sports betting launch.
In any case, retail sports betting finally launched in Ontario last November. At the time, only self-serve kiosks made their debut at Ontario casinos. However, bettors get their first full-service Ontario sportsbook experience with the opening of Caesars Sportsbook.
And soon, we’ll know how that experience stacks up against Ontario’s sports bettors’ expectations.