Caesars Windsor Opens Retail Sportsbook

Written By Jose Colorado on November 3, 2022
Ten sports betting kiosks are now available at the border casino, with a complete sports lounge to be added in 2023.

Add Caesars Windsor to the Ontario sports betting party.

Ten new sports betting kiosks are officially up and running today outside the Caesars Windsor poker room and main floor Skybridge entrance at the establishment. Basketball, baseball, football, hockey are all available, as well as multiple betting options including in-game wagers. This is phase one of the project. A complete sports lounge will be built next.

The news comes on the heels of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) announcing last week its service providers would move forward with the introduction of sportsbooks at select casinos across the province.

Since then, 10 Great Canadian Entertainment locations have added retail sportsbooks.

Regardless, Caesars’ President Kevin Laforet – via press release – is eager to throw his hat into the fray.

“We’re thrilled to offer sports bettors a chance to get in on the action with all their favourite sports and enjoy the thrill of single event betting as part of our resort experience at Caesars,” Laforet said.

First full-service retail sportsbooks to open early next year

Despite the excitement, Laforet reminded bettors the kiosks are just the tip of the iceberg.

“These sports betting kiosks are Phase 1 of what we will be offering at Caesars Windsor, with a full-service Caesars Sportsbook opening soon with dining bar service, and sports betting all in one exciting location.”

Eventually, Caesars’ full-service sportsbook will open up in front of its Legends Sports Bar with Laforet saying construction is already underway.

The project will be complete by early next year. But, Laforet stopped short of giving an exact date.

Regardless, whenever that day does arrive, sports bettors can look forward to the following items in the lounge:

  • 65” HD LED TVs (22 in total)
  • State-of-the-art sound
  • Dedicated seating for viewings
  • Fan-favourite menu items from Legends Sports Bar
  • Three betting windows
  • Seven 24/7 betting kiosks in the room
  • Caesar’s staff available to help place bets

Major sports to be offered alongside niche events

When it comes to the actual product, of course, Caesars is offering the five major North American sports leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS). Boxing, auto racing, mixed martial arts and many more sports will also be offered.

With that being said, one would think Caesars’ management would have its sets sights on one sport in particular to make the most of its grand opening.

Super Bowl, retail sportsbook could attract Americans back to Caesars Windsor

That would be football – and the NFL – as Super Bowl LVII goes Feb. 12 this year. Billed as North America’s premiere sports betting event of the year, the spectacle is habitually one of most hotly contested wagering nights.

That sentiment is only amplified further when considering Caesars’ location. Situated right across the Detroit River, the establishment has long enjoyed a large influx of American bettors.

In fact, Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, previously told PlayCanada that roughly 30% of Caesars Windsor’s customers were American prior to the pandemic.

And with good reason.

As reported by PlayCanada’s Dave Briggs, Caesars Windsor provides Americans with a few major advantages including:

  • Reduced gambling age (19 in comparison to 21)
  • Favourable conversion rates (roughly 30 – 35%)
  • Canadian tax-free gambling winnings

American bettors returning to Caesars after ArriveCAN App restrictions removed

The ArriveCAN app killed cross-border traffic for a while. During the pandemic, the government-mandated app required foreigners to report to arrivals upon entry into Canada. Delays, questioning and an overall unpleasant experience at the border deterred many from making the trek over.

Restrictions are now lifted.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, Susanne Tomkins, Caesars’ casino communications manager, told the Windsor Star that numbers have since rebounded.

With an advantageous environment and a mega sports event on the horizon, perhaps an opening date in late January or even early February would make the most sense for the sportsbook.

Great Canadian Entertainment retail sportsbooks at 10 locations

Elsewhere, Ontario retail sportsbook are already aplenty.

For starters, dubbed Great Canadian Sportsbooks, four locations in the province have already launched their own dedicated sportsbooks lounges. Those destinations – all operated by Great Canadian Entertainment (GCE) – include:

  • Great Blue Heron Casino & Hotel
  • Pickering Casino Resort
  • Elements Casino Brantford
  • Shorelines Casino Belleville

In addition to that, six other Ontario casinos added sportsbook kiosks.

  • Elements Casino Mohawk
  • Casino Woodbine
  • Elements Casino Grand River
  • Shorelines Casino Peterborough
  • Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
  • Elements Casino Flamboro

The establishments moved quickly on the expansion projects. Great Canadian took its first retail sports bets minutes after the OLG announced select casinos would be allowed to offer in-person sportsbooks.

However, GCE received some help along the way. That’s because in late October, Kambi Group signed a multi-year partnership with GCE. The former will be delivering retail sportsbook solutions and betting kiosks to the latter.

Fallsview Casino next up?

Looking forward, the Niagara region would seemingly be the next key area.

Consider Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) operates three Niagara casinos, including Fallsview Casino Resort. The caveat, however, is MGE partnered with Kambi back in August 2022 to launch PlayFallsview – Niagara’s online casino and sportsbook.

Since then, the pair have expanded their relationship. In September, Kambi began providing sportsbook support at Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara.

Previously, President of MGE Rich Roberts told PlayCanada retail sportsbooks were still on the table. But no further details were provided.

To that end, as of Thursday there has been no official announcement regarding the situation.

But one would think at the very least sports betting kiosks – or even a sports lounge – would be the next inevitable – and logical – step in the partnership.

Retail sportsbooks finally come to Canada

It’s been a long-time coming for Ontario retail sportsbooks.

Unlike in the U.S., where brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have been commonplace for years, Canada’s most populated province has largely shelved the idea until most recently.

Seemingly, the glaring opportunity became too obvious to ignore. Consider Ontario has welcomed over 25 operators to its competitive gaming market since opening up on April 4.

Despite that, no casinos had retail sportsbooks.

Interestingly enough, in late October OLG revealed it shelled out more than $38 million to municipalities that play host to casinos for the second quarter of the 2022 – 2023 fiscal year.

If all holds, the 2022 – 2023 fiscal year will be a record-setting one. Currently, OLG projects a $163 million payout to its municipal providers. The previous best was $161 million in 2019 – 2020.

However, with retail sportsbooks now entering the picture those numbers could climb even further.

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Jose Colorado

Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business and the occasional walk on the beach.

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