LIVE UPDATES: The Latest On Online Casinos, Sports Betting In Canada

Written By Robyn McNeil on September 3, 2021 - Last Updated on May 24, 2022
Map of Canada

Ontario brought Canada into a new era for online gambling as of April 4. During the first month and beyond, players can expect an explosion of private companies entering Ontario’s regulated market, expanding their online gambling options.

As Canada’s most populous province (with nearly 15 million residents), Ontario leads the way for the rest of the country. If, when and how quickly other regions choose to open their online markets to private operators is very much uncertain. Though it’s a safe bet others will eventually follow.

PlayCanada is here to help you make sense of the news. We’ll be updating this post as changes happen, so check back.

2022 Canada online sports betting and casino updates

May 24, 12:44 p.m. — OLG expands Paysafe partnership to introduce affiliate program

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation extended its agreement with Paysafe, a specialized payments platform, to include an affiliate program.

The new OLG.ca affiliate program will be powered by Paysafe’s Income Access affiliate software, specializing in marketing technology and services.

This partnership marks a milestone as Canada’s provincial lottery and gaming brand partners with affiliates. It expands the Crown corporation’s reach in Ontario, across Canada and internationally, as OLG will be able to promote its product offering on a larger scale.

May 24, 10:23 a.m. — 1X2 Network receives Ontario approvals

1X2 Network will launch its full suite of games in Ontario after securing the go-ahead to go live in the province.

1X2gaming and Iron Dog Studio’s most popular titles are Wolf Strike, Blazing 777s, Battle Maidens, Battle Maidens Cleopatra, Book of Ba’al, and Phoenix Inferno in the Ontarian launch.

1X2 Network already has a presence in Canada, as it provides games to Loto-Québec. The online casino content developer has prepared several new titles specifically designed for the market, which it will soon roll out too.

May 20, 9:13 a.m. — BetMGM announces premiere BetMGM Poker Championship

BetMGM announced its first BetMGM Poker Championship on June 23-26 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament is scheduled during the 2022 ARIA Poker Classic and will feature four days of BetMGM poker events.

The championship is a $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold ‘em tournament with a $1 million guarantee (CAD$1.28M). On the third day of the tournament (June 25), a $600 buy-in BetMGM Poker Mystery Bounty will mark the first time ARIA has run this modern take on a live poker knockout tournament.

BetMGM Poker will award prize packages to at least 15 players from each US live poker market, plus six players from the BetMGM Poker platform. Players in Ontario can now play to qualify for the event. The organization will also cover buy-in for the championship, travel expenses, and a five-night stay at ARIA.

May 18, 1:10 p.m. — DraftKings is live in Ontario

It’s official. Just after 1 p.m. DraftKings opened its sportsbook and casino to Ontario bettors.

“DraftKings’ entry into Canada with our online sportsbook and online casino products is a significant
milestone in our expansion efforts as we reach nearly 40-percent of Canada’s total population,” said
CEO Jason Robins. “We look forward to providing the passionate fanbase in Ontario with the most entertaining and responsible gaming experience possible.”

May 18, 10:33 a.m. — Word on the street is DraftKings is launching today

Despite not yet being listed on iGaming Ontario’s list of regulated operators, insiders are saying Ontario’s bettors can expect to legally wager via DraftKings before the day is out. Whether or not the rumours are true, it seems the wait for DK is almost over.

May 15, 07:33 p.m. — Montreal Casino employees stage sudden strike

Casino de Montréal croupiers went on a surprise 4-hour strike late Saturday afternoon in solidarity amid a negotiations deadlock.

At the stroke of 4 p.m. on May 14, dealers walked out the door to demonstrate in front of the Notre Dame Island casino. They did it to denounce stalled negotiations over the new collective agreement that came to an impasse last weekend.

The collective agreement that applies to 521 croupiers expired March 31, with salaries and schedules among the issues at stake.

Although the employees announced the strike would continue, Loto-Québec assured clients would still be able to access gaming tables during the temporary strike, except in the poker room.

Loto-Québec, which manages casinos in the province, says it hopes to continue discussions with the union along similar lines to those accepted by employee groups at its other casinos.

Contract talks will resume on Tuesday.

May 13, 09:13 p.m. — Fallsview announces registration with AGCO

Fallsview received its registration with Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Fallsview Casino’s mobile sportsbook is now registered with AGCO and will soon be available to players in the province’s newly-regulated market.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE Digital Canada) is operating the brand. Fallsview is now working closely with iGaming Ontario to sign an agreement and launch in the province.

May 13, 5:06 p.m. — DraftKings (finally) receives AGCO registration

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued DraftKings the registration on Friday. The operator’s next step is to execute an agreement with iGaming Ontario.

As soon as the Boston-based operator signs the agreement with iGO, it can legally launch its online casino and sportsbook in Ontario. When that happens remains to be seen.

However, the company recently said it aims to enter Ontario before the end of Q2 2022 (i.e. the end of June). DraftKings is one of the top US operators, so its absence in the province is notable.

May 13, 2:36 p.m. — Bragg’s Wild Streak Gaming boosts its agreement with IGT

Wild Streak Gaming has teamed up with International Game Technology to develop four new land-based titles for IGT. Wild Streak is a subsidiary of Bragg Gaming Group, which acquired Wild Streak in a $30m deal in June last year.

The deal expands the existing relationship between suppliers. Previously, Wild Streak developed multiple online slots titles for IGT. These include releases Wolf Run Gold, Dreamy Genie and Queenie.

Wild Streak Gaming provides content to land-based, online and social casino operators in North America and Europe. The company was among the first to receive its registration with the AGCO on April 3.

May 10, 1:25 p.m. — Wazdan gets the nod from AGCO

Wazdan gets the green light from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to launch its games in the province.

Ontario is the 20th regulated market for the operator. As a result, Wazdan’s games will now make their way to some of the leading casino brands in the province.

As for the rest of North America, the casino games supplier has licenses and operates in Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey.

May 10, 11:02 a.m. — Parleh welcomed James Sharman as head of soccer content

Parleh Media Group announces popular Canadian soccer broadcaster James Sharman has joined their sports family.

Sharman comes on as an investor and head of soccer content. He will also host Parleh’s new Soccer Sports Betting Show. 

The show will be syndicated internationally across The Parleh’s partner platforms.

In his 25 years in the industry, Sharman covered men’s and women’s games at all professional and international levels. His previous stops include Sportsnet, OneSoccer, Fox Sports and The Score.

May 9, 4:15 p.m. — NorthStar Bet receives iGaming Ontario approval

As iGaming Ontario announced via Twitter, NorthStar Bet is the next operator to join the new market as a regulated and approved operator.

NorthStar Bet is officially the 17th operator to enter Ontario’s regulated online gaming and betting market. Its website, northstarbets.ca, will be the 23rd to launch in the province.

In late April, NorthStar first received its Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario registration. The operating agreement with iGO was the last hurdle to launching in Ontario.

May 6, 8:45 am — DraftKings will likely launch in Ontario before end of June

Since Ontario’s online gambling market launched on April 4, one question has been top of mind – when is DraftKings’ ETA?

According to the company’s latest earnings report released on Friday, the operator expects to launch in Ontario’s regulated market in Q2 2022. That means the company will enter the market between now and the end of June.

The Boston-based operator of online sports betting, daily fantasy contests, and iGaming reported revenue of $417 million, an increase of 34% compared to $312 million during the same period in 2021.

May 4, 7:55 pm — NBL Canada agrees to exclusive multi-year sports betting deal with IMG Arena

IMG Arena has been selected as the official sports betting data supplier of the National Basketball League of Canada.

Endeavour Group’s sports subsidiary, IMG Arena, has access to the rights of over 80 professional sporting leagues and organizations.

IMG Arena will distribute data from NLB Canada to its network of sportsbook operators, including OpenBet, Kambi Group, SBTech and Paddy Power.

The audio-visual sports betting and data rights deal starts at the beginning of the 2022/23 season.

May 4, 8:46 a.m. — AGCO issues monetary penalties to BetMGM Canada and PointsBet Canada

One month into Ontario’s new online gambling market and two AGCO-registered internet gaming operators have received the first regulatory fines.

Announced in the press release on Tuesday, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued fines to BetMGM Canada and PointsBet Canada.

BetMGM Canada will pay CA$48,000 for failures relating to “advertising of inducements, bonuses or credits” and misleading marketing. PointsBet Canada, on the other hand, is on the hook for CA$30,000 fine for advertising-related breaches.

BetMGM and PointsBet Canada can appeal the fines to the License Appeal Tribunal.

According to regulations, operators in Ontario must not broadly advertise bonuses and free bets except on their website or through direct marketing communications customers sign-up for.

May 3, 10 a.m. — Kambi Group teams up with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment in Ontario

Kambi Group announces a mobile sportsbook agreement with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment in Ontario. The Group will support MGE’s PlayFallsview online mobile sportsbook brand.

The multi-year deal will see MGE leverage Kambi’s technology and mobile sports betting offering, including its unparalleled ice hockey product and expansive Bet Builder capability.

The long-term agreement will further strengthen Kambi’s presence in North America. Currently, the company is active in Ontario and 17 US states.

May 3, 9:33 a.m. — Skill On Net receives AGCO approval

Skill On Net is the latest software supplier company to receive its registration with Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission. The next step is the commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario.

The company now joins 27 suppliers in the legal, regulated market providing their games in the province.

May 3, 9:21 a.m. — BetMGM app takes the lead in Ontario downloads

As earlier reported, Score Media and Gaming took an early lead in Ontario’s newly launched sports betting market.

New data from SensorTower found theScore Bet app continued to lead with a 31% share in April until last week.

On a daily basis, however, theScore Bet’s share fell to 17% with BetMGM taking the lead as of April 30. BetMGM now accounts for 29% of sports betting apps downloaded.

May 3, 8:15 a.m. — Paul Burns honoured with Sports Betting Hall of Fame

Canadian Gaming Association’s president and CEO, Paul Burns, will be one of four industry leaders inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in 2022.

The official Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment ceremony in East Rutherford (NJ) goes down on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The event is part of the SBC Summit North America 2022, running July 12-14.

Other industry leaders to receive the Sports Betting Hall of Fame honour are:

  • Chris Andrews, Sports Book Director of South Point Hotel, Casino, & Spa in Las Vegas;
  • Sandy Drozd, Vice President of USBookmaking;
  • Vinny Magliulo, Vice President of the Las Vegas Dissemination Company & Sports Book Director at Gaughan Gaming.

May 2, 6:33 p.m. — Play Alberta ready for the 2022 NHL post-season

Edmonton’s ICE District will be the epicentre of 2022 NHL post-season excitement.

The post-season drops the puck this week as 16 teams compete over the next few weeks to win the Stanley Cup. 

For the first time, legal-aged Albertans can place bets on each game of every best-of-seven series on the province’s regulated, sports betting website, PlayAlberta.

The Calgary Flames enter the post-season with the third-best odds (+650, 13/2) to win the title. The team will play the Dallas Stars in the opening round.

Travelling north on Highway 2, the Edmonton Oilers have the seventh-best odds (+1100, 11/1) to win the cup. The Oilers open their playoff run against Los Angeles.

May 2, 8:37 a.m. — BetMGM offers to purchase LeoVegas for more than US$600 million

MGM Resorts International offered to acquire Swedish online gaming company LeoVegas AB for nearly $607 million, paving the way for the U.S. casino operator to expand its presence in Europe.

“We have achieved remarkable success with BetMGM in the U.S., and with the acquisition of LeoVegas in Europe we will expand our online gaming presence globally,” MGM Resorts Chief Executive Officer Bill Hornbuckle said in a statement.

LeoVegas, with licences in eight jurisdictions primarily in Europe, said it recommended its shareholders accept MGM’s offer.

LeoVegas operates LeoVegas.com and RoyalPanda.com in Ontario.

April 26, 12:53 p.m. — ComeOn Group secures gambling license for Ontario

ComeOn Group announced its successful registration with Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

The company will soon enter the Ontario iGaming market with its famous (in European circles) brand, ComeOn! Previously a grey market operator, ComeOn Group will also introduce its latest product innovation WeSpin.

“With Ontario regulating, we are delighted to have been granted a license in one of the largest regulated states in North America,” commented Juergen Reutter, CEO at ComeOn Group.

The group now has to enter a commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario.

April 25, 2:48 p.m. — Brett Jackman joins PointsBet Canada as VP of Strategy

On Monday afternoon, PointsBetCanada announced the hiring of Brett Jackman as its new vice president of strategy, reporting to CEO Scott Vanderwel.

Jackman holds nearly 15 years of experience in strategy and transformation, having advised large North American companies on growth strategy initiatives and priorities, including new market and product launches, enterprise transformations, and M&A.

“Brett’s expertise and vision will be absolutely crucial in helping shape PointsBet Canada’s priorities as we forge further ahead into the budding sports betting landscape,” said Vanderwel. “As our commitment so far has shown, PointsBet Canada has big ambitions, and I am thrilled to have Brett alongside us moving forward to help shape and drive our growth agenda, building upon the strong foundation we’ve assembled thus far.”

April 25, 12:43 p.m. — Barstool’s “El Presidente” en route to Toronto in support of theScore Bet

According to a tweet posted on April 22, Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports’ controversial founder and chief of content is about to shake things up in The Six. In a video accompanying the tweet, Portnoy suggests he’ll spend a week on the ground betting against the Jays and propping up theScore Bet on its home turf.  Godspeed, Toronto friends.

April 19, 1:03 p.m. — Betway receives AGCO approval

Betway is the latest online casino and sportsbook brand to receive its registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. A commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario will follow.

Betway is well-known among Canadians as a previous grey market operator. The company will now enter the safe zone and legally provide its product and services in Ontario’s newly-regulated market.

April 13, 11:27 a.m. — ​​US Integrity and PointsBet Canada announce partnership

US Integrity and PointsBet Canada announced a comprehensive agreement made in January before PointsBet entered the Ontario market early last week.

The PointsBet Canada deal marks USI’s first partnership with a client based outside the US regulated market.

USI will continue to provide integrity monitoring services to PointsBet Canada through its proprietary dashboard. USI analyzes dozens of data sets to proactively identify irregular contest-level, officiating and wagering patterns.

PointsBet continues to establish exclusive deals with many popular Canadian groups, including the Trailer Park Boys, MLSE and Curling Canada.

April 13, 09:25 a.m. — NorthStar Gaming announces its registration with AGCO

NorthStar Gaming received its registration for Ontario’s online gaming market from Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

According to the company’s release, registration represents one of the last significant milestones in NorthStar Gaming’s journey into Ontario’s regulated market.

NorthStar is now working closely with the AGCO and iGaming Ontario to ensure it meets all remaining regulatory requirements before launching NorthStar Bets.

April 12, 11:55 a.m. — iGaming Ontario updates operator list with bwin and Party

As of Tuesday morning, iGaming Ontario has new brands on its list of fully regulated gaming operators:

  • on.bwin.ca
  • on.partypoker.ca
  • on.partycasino.ca
  • on.partysports.ca

All products belong to the same legal entity, ElectraWorks Maple Limited.

April 12, 7:40 a.m. — Playtech Live launches Safari Riches Live exclusively for 888casino

The world’s leading gambling tech company, Playtech, announced the launch of a live casino slot Safari Riches Live, created exclusively for 888casino. This is the first time a slot brand developed by 888 has been transformed into a unique live casino game.

Safari Riches Live is a live, hosted version of Safari Riches, one of 888casino’s best-performing titles that features Stacked Wilds, Big Icons and Free Spins.

The live casino slot game also includes a progressive Daily Jackpot, the first of its kind to be launched on a Playtech Live Casino game. The jackpot can only be activated by a single spin made by a single player.

This launch follows the deal announcement in 2021, which saw 888casino roll out a new branded live casino studio with a range of Playtech’s best performing RNG Casino games.

April 11, 1:20 p.m. — Novibet to enter Ontario in Q4 2022

As of this year, the Malta-based operator, Novibet, plans to launch its product and services in nine North American markets. These include Ontario and Mexico.

According to the company’s press release, Novibet expects to enter Ontario during Q4 2022.

Novibet is an internationally recognized fast-growing operator that offers online casino and sports betting features.

April 11, 11:15 a.m. — Caesars sports betting app is now live in Ontario

Seven days after the Ontario iGaming launch, the Caesars sportsbook app is available for download in iOS App Store.

With the Caesars app going live, sports enthusiasts can sign up and start betting on all their favourite teams.

Players could previously place bets through the website.

April 11, 8:05 a.m. — MLSE and PointsBet Canada announce a multi-year agreement

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment announces a new sports betting partnership.

As revealed on Monday, MLSE and PointsBet Canada signed a multi-year agreement.

The deal will see PointsBet become an Official Sports Betting Partner of MLSE’s professional teams:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
  • Toronto Marlies (AHL)
  • Toronto Raptors (NBA)
  • Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • Toronto FC (MLS).

April 8, 6:05 p.m. — Broadcasting icon Dan O’Toole is rolling with BetRivers

Rush Street Interactive announced the latest brand ambassador for its BetRivers Sportsbook is Canadian broadcaster, Dan O’Toole.

The two parties signed an exclusive brand and content deal on Thursday, April 7.

O’Toole became familiar with the BetRivers brand after appearing in a series of its TV ads during the 2022 Winter Olympics.

April 8, 7:35 p.m. —NHL expands BetMGM and FanDuel partnerships into Canada

The National Hockey League signed a new multi-year partnership deals with FanDuel and BetMGM.

The new agreement expands NHL’s existing deals with the two leading operators, making them the league’s first North American sports betting partners.

FanDuel and BetMGM can now use official NHL branding in Ontario and legal jurisdictions across the US.

April 7, 10:12 a.m. — Toronto Blue Jays and theScore Bet announce a 10-year partnership

The Toronto Blue Jays and theScore Bet announce an exclusive 10-year deal that makes Penn Nations Gaming’s subsidiary the Official Gaming Partner of the Toronto Blue Jays.

This deal brings together two leading Canadian organizations to offer fans “innovative and exciting ways to experience the game, both at the ballpark and online.”

The companies’ press release states, “teaming up is a natural collaboration for the two Toronto-based organizations,” with Ontario recently opening its iGaming market to regulated private operators on Monday.

The deal grants theScore Bet exclusive national marketing rights across all gaming categories, including sports betting, casino, online casino and fantasy sports.

April 6, 12:45 p.m. — BetMGM Poker announces it is live in Ontario

One of two online poker operators who have launched in Ontario, BetMGM Poker, made it official on Wednesday.

The platform is the third of the BetMGM offerings live in Ontario this week. Here’s Duncan Smith on the platform.

888poker is also live in the province, while we wait for GGPoker (WSOP) and PokerStars to join the regulated party.

April 6, 9:38 a.m. — Still no sign of DraftKings Sportsbook in Ontario

Still waiting on one of the major sports betting brands here in Ontario. The big question: When will DraftKings Sportsbook launch in Ontario?

DK will be here sometime and bring with it a formidable online casino as well.

Other major brands we’re waiting for include Golden Nugget (owned by DraftKings) and NorthStar Bets.

Grey market poker operators PokerStars and GGPoker are still working through the process of becoming regulated and are still operating in the meantime.

April 5, 4:50 p.m. — FanDuel Super Boost a free $100 for bankroll

In case you haven’t gotten your bet down at FanDuel Sportsbook yet, the clock is running. As part of the Ontario rollout, the operator has +100 odds set on a Raptors Super Boost on if they score a point in tonight’s game against Atlanta.

That’s right, one point.

It’s a pretty safe one. Maximum $100 bet and we don’t give advice here … but bet the full $100.

However, according to social media and other internet chatter, FanDuel has been having technical issues all day.

Tip-off for Raptors vs. Hawks is set for 7:30 p.m. So hurry!

April 5, 1:24 p.m. — 13 operators available to Ontarians

On Tuesday mid-day, day 2 of Ontario’s open and regulated online sports betting casino market, 13 operators (and 17 websites) are live and ready for action:

  • 888casino.ca
  • 888poker.ca
  • 888sport.ca
  • on.Bet365.ca
  • Casino.on.BetMGM.ca
  • Poker.on.BetMGM.ca
  • Sports.on.BetMGM.ca
  • BetRivers.ca
  • Sportsbook.Caesars.com
  • Coolbet.ca
  • FanDuel.com/Canada
  • LeoVegas.com
  • PointsBet.ca
  • Rivalry.com
  • RoyalPanda.com
  • theScore.bet
  • on.Unibet.ca

Casigo.com, GGPoker.ca, LOTTOGO and BuddyBet received the AGCO approval but are awaiting their agreement with iGO.

Ten operators, including NorthStar Gaming, DraftKings, Betway and PlayOJO, are still waiting on AGCO registrations and iGO contracts.

April 5, 10:58 a.m. — AGCO approves registration of BuddyBet

The ‘world first’ social network allows players to bet on practically anything which is highly intriguing. However, some of Buddy’s marketing choices caused a bit of ruckus in the office Slack. Needless to say, we have questions.

It appears one day we can add BuddyBet to the list of brands with crazy names.

April 5, 8:45 a.m. — Matthews’ Rocket Richard odds flip big time after hat trick

What a difference three goals make.

In an early lesson for Ontario sports bettors, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews had his odds go from -250 to -950 at some sportsbooks in one night as the favourite to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer.

Matthews’ three goals in Monday’s 6-2 win over Tampa Bay give him 54 this season, four more than Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl. The Leafs have 13 games to play this season.

April 4, 8:09 p.m. — More tomorrow at PlayCanada

It’s just about an hour from game time for the NCAA Tournament, and we’re going to call it a night.

Back at it tomorrow for more developments from the Ontario gambling scene.

April 4, 7:55 p.m. — No DraftKings Sportsbook for first day of Ontario sports betting

One of the biggest sports events of the year is about to tip off and one of the sports betting powerhouses is not here for it.

DraftKings Sportsbook did not launch in Ontario on opening day along with all of its rivals.

The big question now is, when will DraftKings Sportsbook launch in Ontario?

Andrew Bucholtz has the latest on the brand at the link above.

April 4, 6:36 p.m. — Bettors like Jayhawks and the over in men’s NCAA Tournament final

Operators live in Ontario have a bit of liability on the Kansas Jayhawks tonight as they meet the North Carolina Tarheels in the NCAA Tournament men’s final.

These March Madness numbers are not Ontario specific, but here is what operators are reporting a couple hours before tip-off:

  • At BetRivers, 62% of the handle is on Kansas (-4), while 58% of the handle is on the over (151.5 points)
  • At FanDuel, 58% of the spread handle is on Kansas (-4), and 68% of money is on the over (151.5)
  • At PointsBet, 61% of the handle is on Kansas (-4), and 51% of the handle is on the over (151.5)

April 4, 4:21 p.m. — Promotions language causes confusion

Forgive us if we get in trouble for saying this, but this promotion regulation is causing some headaches.

For one, players don’t know what’s out there. We’d love to be able to tell you all about the offers online gambling companies are using to lure customers: The good, the bad and the ugly.

But we can’t, so we’re kind of stuck in this can-we-or-can’t-we situation and tweeting a photo like this is apparently OK (?).

Promotions Language PlayCanada Live Updates

Meanwhile, if we were ever to use the word b**us in a story, who knows what would happen?

April 4, 11:14 a.m. — FanDuel and TSN announce multi-year partnership

FanDuel announced a first-of-its-kind multi-year agreement with TSN. The agreement makes FanDuel the official sportsbook partner for TSN, starting first in Ontario and expanding if and when other provinces allow private operators.

  • Exclusive agreement designates FanDuel as TSN’s official sportsbook partner
  • Agreement extends to all of Canada (pending regulation)
  • FanDuel, TSN to collab on content to elevate the fan experience

April 4, 10 a.m. — BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt: “Today marks a significant milestone for BetMGM.”

“Today marks a significant milestone for BetMGM and a momentous occasion for sports fans and online players in Ontario,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. “We’re confident that customers in Canada will enjoy the unique, interactive and world-class experience that only BetMGM can provide.”

April 4, 9:15 a.m. — “Today is momentous,” says theScore Bet CEO John Levy.

“We applaud the Ontario government for its leadership in creating and implementing a safe, consumer-friendly and commercially minded market. We’ve been actively preparing for this opportunity, including aggressively hiring to further build out our Toronto-based workforce with a focus on investing heavily across technology and engineering,” said Levy in an emailed statement.

“theScore has been part of the fabric of the Canadian sports scene for 25 years and theScore Bet launching in Ontario is the next step in the evolution of how we serve fans. We’re excited to officially introduce theScore Bet in our home province and provide our longtime users with an integrated media and betting experience unlike any other. Today is the realization of a huge undertaking by the entire theScore family and we’re proud to be part of this historic moment for Ontario.”

April 4, 8 a.m. — PointsBet Canada’s Scott Vanderwel, “Today is a great day for Ontario sports fans!”

“On behalf of the entire PointsBet Canada team, I’d like to share how thrilled we are to see the province’s sports wagering market officially open. Just 50 seconds after 12:00 am ET, PointsBet Canada became one of the first private sportsbooks to take a legal wager, and shortly after accepted a $500 two-leg parlay of UNC over Kansas and the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Vanderwel in a statement to media.

“Over the past few months, our team has been scaling and preparing for today. We have quadrupled in size since the beginning of the year and continue to build partnerships with the athletes, teams, and organizations that matter to Canadians and share great alignment with our core brand values…We know our customers will appreciate our unmatched in-play betting, great odds, depth of offering, and local Canadian support teams ready to assist when they need it.  We will offer an unrivalled experience to sports bettors and gaming enthusiasts.”

April 4, 7:50 a.m. — Online casinos live dealer game offerings more robust than US

Well, that didn’t take long.

As we figured they would, the live dealer online casino games are already on fire in Ontario.

In part, because games are not required to be run from inside the province, BetMGM and BetRivers are among the sites with a bevy of online options. Each platform has more than 30 games available at launch, which is a huge number compared to the US.

April 4, 12:45 a.m. — Some operators hit the ground running at midnight

BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, CoolBet, FanDuel, PointsBet and theScoreBet are among the operators who are live in Ontario shortly after midnight.

It truly is a new day for sports bettors. We’ll have more updates after some sleep.

April 3 — iGaming Ontario lists 13 operators that can launch on Monday

Thirteen online gambling operators have completed the final steps in the regulatory process, completing commercial agreements with iGaming Ontario, iGO announced via its website on Sunday.

These are the operators who are free to launch on Monday:

  • 888
  • bet365
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars
  • Coolbet
  • FanDuel
  • LeoVegas
  • PointsBet
  • Royal Panda
  • Rivalry
  • theScore Bet
  • Unibet

April 1 — AGCO’s list of licensed operators hits 25

AGCO’s list of registered online casinos and sportsbooks operators jumped from 16-to 25 overnight. How many will launch on Monday, April 4, is still unknown, but any that don’t will join in the days and weeks to come.

For now, at least, the biggest news is that the big-name Caesars Sportsbook is on the list.

Besides Caesars, there are eight new casinos in the AGCO’s database, including brands: Casigo, Casimba, Dream Vegas, Fire Vegas, Gate 777, Hello Casino, Jackpot Village and Playzee. ​​The newbies are all operated by TWHG Inc (White Hat Gaming).

March 31 — FanDuel announces its sportsbook and casino apps are en route to Ontario

While the exact date of arrival is still TBD, FanDuel announced today its sportsbook (with embedded casino) and its stand-alone app are headed to Ontario, on or shortly after April 4.

FanDuel’s Sportsbook offers elevated betting features like Same Game Parlay bets, Odds Boosts, Data Visuals, and Streaming options, to augment fan engagement. The FanDuel Casino will boast over 250 titles at launch, including live dealer, random number generation, and slot games.

March 31 — RG Check accreditation required for all igaming operators entering Ontario

All online casinos and sports betting operators entering Ontario must be accredited by RG Check.

Administered by the Responsible Gambling Council, the accreditation program has been embedded into the requirements to ensure sustainability and responsible gambling, when the market launches on 4 April.

The RG Check program is already used by land-based casinos in Ontario to ensure the highest standards of responsible gambling are maintained.

March 28 — PlayCanada study: Online gambling market could add 1,300 jobs to Ontario, more nationally

Our own Robyn McNeil released a story we’ve been working on for weeks here. In it, she reveals that about 1,300 jobs will be added to Ontario from online gambling.

It’s been an under-reported part of the puzzle lately, but McNeil did a great job passing it along with sourcing, research and great reporting. Have a read.

March 24 — PointsBet Canada joins RNation; Announces deal with Ottawa REDBLACKS and TD Place

The Ottawa REDBLACKS, TD Place and PointsBet Canada have entered a new partnership. Starting this season, the leading igaming brand becomes the official sportsbook of Canadian football in Ottawa.

The multi-year agreement will see the PointsBet Canada logo on all REDBLACKS jerseys and prominent branding throughout TD Place.

PointsBet Canada also becomes the new presenting sponsor of the PointsBet Sideline Club at TD Place, where REDBLACKS fans can view the game from field level.

March 23 — Better Collective acquires Canada Sports Betting

Better Collective announces it has acquired the assets of Canada Sports Betting for a maximum purchase price of €21.4M (CAD$29.5). 

With the acquisition, the sports betting media group makes a strong entry into the Ontarian market, just before the market launch.

March 22 — theScore Bet sportsbook and casino app now open for pre-registration in Ontario

theScore announced its mobile sportsbook and casino app theScore Bet is now available for download.

Ontarian players can now pre-register by downloading theScore Bet on the App Store for iOS devices.

The pre-registration process allows players to complete the necessary steps to safely and legally open their theScore Bet account.

March 22 — BetMGM joins fully registered operators in Ontario

BetMGM receives key approval from the AGCO to offer its product and services to Ontarian players.

Thanks to its registration with the Ontario regulator, BetMGM Online Betting will be among the sportsbooks lining up for the province’s commercial launch of sports betting on April 4.

March 21 — The AGCO’s latest approvals issued to Kambi and Inspired

Kambi Group becomes the latest AGCO-approved supplier to receive its registration to operate in Ontario.

The registration will allow the brand to launch its sportsbook technology from day one of the Ontario online market opening, on April 4.

Moreover, Inspired Entertainment also obtains regulatory approval from the AGCO. According to the company’s press release, Inspired plans to launch its portfolio in Ontario early in the second quarter of 2022.

The next step for both companies is to sign a commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario. 

March 18 — Canadian Gaming Summit joins the SBC family

International events and media company SBC acquires Canadian Gaming Summit from current joint owners the Canadian Gaming Association and MediaEdge Communications. CGS is Canada’s long-running conference and trade show for land-based and iGaming professionals.

The deal finalizes after the completion of this year’s Summit. 2022 marks the 25th edition of the Summit, which takes place June 7-9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The year’s central theme is Canada – A World of New Opportunities.

March 17 — Bet365 next to receive the AGCO’s approval

Bet365 Sports is the next operator to receive a key approval from an Ontario regulator. Now that the company has received its AGCO registration it needs to cut a deal with iGO.

It will allow the global bookmaker to start legally taking bets in the province early next month.

March 15 — The AGCO’s latest approvals issued to Swedish operator LeoVegas and game supplier Play’n GO

LeoVegas is the most recent online gambling operator to receive approval from the AGCO, according to an announcement made on March 15.

Next up: a commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario. With that, the operator can offer online casino, live casino and sports betting services in Ontario under its LeoVegas and Royal Panda brands.

Approval was also issued to Play’n GO, allowing the gaming supplier to provide its portfolio to provincially regulated operators.

March 14 — Bragg Gaming, Gaming Realms receive supplier license from AGCO. Tiidal Gaming announces intent to enter Ontario

AGCO has granted supplier registration to Toronto-listed content provider Bragg Gaming Group. The approval allows Bragg to launch its content and services in Ontario when the market opens.

Joining Bragg, Gaming Realms also received its supplier license to offer games to Ontarian players ahead of the province’s launch.

Furthermore, Tiidal Gaming Group Corp. announced its subsidiary, Tiidal Gaming Canada Inc., has applied to the AGCO to obtain supplier registration.

Approval will enable its tech division, Sportsflare, to supply approved sportsbooks with its advanced artificial intelligence (AI) powered esports betting solutions.

March 14 — Loto-Québec joins forces with High 5 Games as the slot supplier receives its registration in Ontario

Loto-Québec has finalized an agreement with US-based slot supplier High 5 Games, bringing access to various new products. Additionally, High 5 announced this week AGCO granted its supplier registration.

This partnership is good news for Quebecers looking to try out new games.

The list of available titles includes classics like Caught In The Widow’s Web, Secrets Of The Forest Extreme, Triple, and Quadruple Double Da Vinci Diamonds.

March 11 — FanDuel joins AGCO registrants, though no announcement yet

FanDuel, which has been tight-lipped publicly about all things Canada, is making its way to Ontario.

The Flutter brand is the latest to register with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, though FanDuel has not yet made an announcement on it, as several other brands have done.

FanDuel is the leading US sports betting operator.

March 10 — Kindred receives green light to launch Unibet in Ontario

Kindred Group announced it received a green light to launch its Unibet brand in the Ontario market on April 4. The company received their registration from AGCO today and has yet to complete an agreement with iGO.

This afternoon, Amanda Brewer, Kindred’s Canadian country manager, announced the milestone during The Parleh’s Twitter spaces broadcast. With only weeks left until the market launches expect more announcements like this over the coming weeks.

March 10 — Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers Receives iGaming Operator Registration from AGCO

According to a release shared today, BetRivers is the latest brand to receive an iGaming Operator Registration for Ontario.

Parent company Rush Street Interactive said it will satisfy any remaining regulatory requirements before launching its BetRivers online casino and BetRivers sportsbook on April 4.

RSI is currently live in Ontario with its free-to-play social gaming platform, CASINO4FUN, accessible at BetRivers.ca. The move into Ontario makes Canada RSI’s third country of operation, in addition to Colombia and the USA.

March 9 — OLG’s Proline Plus becomes NFL’s official sports betting partner

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the National Hockey League announced a multi-year partnership designating OLG’s Proline Plus as NFL’s official sports betting partner in Canada.

The deal provides OLG with distribution rights to the NFL’s official logos and cross-promotion across the League’s digital and social channels. Additionally, Proline Plus becomes the presenting sponsor of the pregame fan festival at the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ outdoor game between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs on March 13.

March 8 — CGA signs Memorandum of Understanding with IBIA

The Canadian Gaming Association announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding between the CGA and the International Betting Integrity Association.

The MoU’s purpose is to provide a framework for cooperation and coordination between IBIA and the CGA on betting and related integrity issues.

In addition, MoU’s job is to protect the Ontario and broader Canadian market, sports, consumers, and regulated betting operators, from corrupt activities.

The AGO has recently accredited the AGCO as an independent integrity monitor. And, all licensed operators in Ontario will be required to be part of a monitoring system.

March 8 — FansUnite become fully registered Gaming Related Supplier in Ontario

In an announcement made today, FansUnite says it has received a Gaming Related Supplier – Manufacturer license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Thanks to this approval from AGCO and an upcoming agreement iGaming Ontario,  FansUnite will become a fully registered supplier of sports betting and internet gaming in Ontario, effective April 4, 2022.

March 7 — Industry insiders discuss Ontario advertising regulations

Ontario is taking a hard line on online gambling advertising in the lead-up to the April 4 launch.

Check out the coverage from PlayOntario on an insider seminar on what’s legal and what isn’t, including a ban on the promotion of sign-up deals.

Fret not, however, the deals themselves will still be there.

March 3 — 888 Holdings first grey market operator to announce license

We have a grey market operator aboard.

888 Holdings announced its intention to join the Ontario online gambling market, along with AGCO registration.

888 operates 888sport, 888casino and 888poker as part of the province’s great market.

A company tied to Caesars and Annexio of the UK also registered with the AGCO.

March 1 — MLSE and AWS will innovate together

To deliver more extraordinary moments, Amazon Web Services partners with Toronto sports teams.

AWS and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment have signed a new partnership to deliver experiences including betting and gaming products to fans.

MLSE owns Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

And, according to the agreement, MLSE will have access to AWS cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve both gameplay and fan experiences.

March 1 — Problem Gambling Awareness Month kicks off North and South of the border

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Canada and the US. Gambling becomes a problem for players when it’s done excessively and with negative impacts on daily life. Canadians experiencing problems with gambling have access to support through regional helplines and counselling services in a variety of languages.

PlayCanada encourages all Canadians to gamble responsibly.

Feb. 25 — NorthStar Gaming unveils NorthStar Bets in Ontario

NorthStar Gaming has unveiled the brand for its soon-to-be-released online casino and sportsbook: NorthStar Bets.

According to NorthStar Gaming’s CEO Michael Moskowitz, the gaming platform will offer Ontarian players a “hyperlocal gaming experience.”

As part of an advertising and marketing arrangement with Torstar Corporation, thestar.com readers will have the opportunity to enjoy NorthStar Bets’ gaming catalogue.

Feb. 22 Loto-Québec considers cryptocurrency

In a conversation with Steeve Lavoie, president and CEO of the Québec City  Chamber of Commerce, Loto-Quebec’s CEO said the corporation is considering whether cryptocurrency payments are in the lottery’s future. But despite the consideration, the Crown corporation doesn’t yet have concrete plans, said its president and CEO Jean-Francois Bergeron.

Cryptocurrency,  he added, is part of broader thinking around payments methods, including Apple Pay. Currently, there’s no expectation for when a decision will take place.

Feb. 17 Golden Nugget confirms intentions for Ontario launch

Golden Nugget Online Gaming is seeking registration in Ontario’s new gaming market. Strive Gaming’s Player Account Management Platform will power GNOG’s offering when it launches.

GNOG’s rapid North American expansion demanded a PAM partner that could quickly integrate without sacrificing functionality. According to Thomas Winter, GNOG’s president, Strive is “very impressed” so far.

Feb. 17 Alberta online sports betting RFP closes with major players expressing interest

Submissions to the RFP closed on Feb. 14, after AGCO permitted an initial 2-week extension. And although AGCO has not said which companies submitted, the list of those watching the RFP process includes heavy-hitters like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesar’s Sportsbook and BetMGM. Which two operators win out will be decided after extensive vetting.

Feb. 15 First Nations communities link up to protest Ontario launch

Two of Canada’s First Nations communities announced an agreement to defend their gaming jurisdictions and create a space for possible online gambling partnerships between the groups.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawàke and the Six Nations of the Grand River announced the agreement in opposition to the April 4 launch of online casinos and sports betting in Ontario.

Feb. 10 Sports betting show #OLGGamePlan launches in Ontario

With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, OLG has more news to share.

OLG is the latest brand to partner with so.da and Twitter for #OLGGamePlan, the new interactive digital sports betting series.

Hosted by Ashley Docking and Brad Smith, #OLGGamePlan is Twitter’s first brand-led sports betting show in Canada.

Each week, hosts will provide sports enthusiasts with a short analysis to help direct smart Proline bets on their favourite teams, games and players.

The first episode, featuring Joe Montana, premieres just before the Super Bowl match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams.

What’s more, Ontario’s only legal option (at least until April 4) for sports betting, OLG’s Proline, has significantly expanded its bet offerings heading into this weekend.

Feb. 10 Singles arrive in Nova Scotia just in time for the Super Bowl

Starting Friday, Feb. 11, single-event betting will be available on Proline for players in Nova Scotia. All sport betting fans who are 19 or older can finally sign up to place single bets, without having to place a parlay. Players can access hundreds of games across multiple sports, including football, basketball, soccer, and hockey.

Feb. 7 Proline is the first official NFL sportsbook partner in Canada

Just in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl, OLG becomes Canada’s first official retail lottery and sportsbook partner of the National Football League.

The exclusive five-year deal will see OLG and NFL deliver an exclusive Super Bowl betting experience to Ontario football fans on OLG’s Proline Plus platform.

Feb. 7 Alberta football fans can now bet on Super Bowl

PlayAlberta.ca and Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis are now offering Super Bowl odds to players including Money Line, Spread and Total. The enhanced menu comes just in time for Super Bowl LVI.

The big game between Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals is this Sunday, Feb 13, 6:30 p.m. EST

Albertans can place their bets using Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard, Mastercard Debit, and now Interac Online as well.

Feb. 4 Rivalry announces it is among first fully registered operators in Ontario

Rivalry is the latest operator to announce its registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.  

The company, which offers esports and sports betting, shared the news via press on Feb. 4. They continue to work with iGaming Ontario to complete any final steps in preparation for April’s launch.

Feb. 3 PointsBet Canada announces AGCO registration, theScore quickly follows

PointsBet Canada is the first operator to announce it received registration from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The announcement comes as no surprise, as PBC has been in preparation mode for months. With an executive stacked with Canadians and a roster of uniquely Canadian partnerships, the company is striving to build an online sportsbook and casino product fit for Canadians.

theScore’s announcement followed PBC’s shortly after. According to a release the company is beyond excited to be able to bring theScore Bet to their “home market.”

theScore Bet was also the first operator in Ontario to secure Gaming Labs International certification as required by the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, as well as RG Check iGaming Accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council.

Both companies are now ready to sign a commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario. Executing that agreement is one of the final hurdles. After that, they’ll be ready to launch their betting platforms in Ontario when it goes live on April 4.

One thing is certain, we can expect to see more operators making these announcements as the launch moves closer.

Feb. 2 PointsBet Canada teams up with Alpine Canada Alpin

PointsBet Canada and Alpine Canada Alpin announced a new partnership that will see PointsBet join the ACA sponsorship family as the official sportsbook.

The multi-year deal starts with the current 2021-2022 season.

Home to the national alpine, para-alpine and ski cross teams, Alpine Canada has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Feb. 1 OLG debuts new Proline, Kambi and NorthStar join forces, and theScore says what’s up to downtown Toronto

With last week’s launch announcement, companies planning to enter Ontario are wasting no time ahead of the April 4 kick-off.

A few of the day’s happenings:

OLG announced the launch of enhanced sports betting products for Ontario bettors through an expanded PROLINE brand.

The new offerings include making single event wagers on various sports possible at nearly 10,000 retailers. Also, the new PROLINE Bet Builder App lets players create their picks at home, then present a barcode at the retailer to complete the transaction.

Kambi Group and NorthStar Gaming revealed a long-term partnership that permits the Stockholm-listed supplier to provide its online sportsbook to the Canadian operator.

The new deal will offer NorthStar’s customers a high-quality betting experience when Ontario’s competitive online gaming and sports betting market launches.

Lastly, theScore Bet installed a celebratory billboard at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. The hard-to-miss billboard highlights the much-anticipated launch date and gives voice to the industry’s relief at having a definitive date to work towards.

As the launch gets closer, you can be sure stakeholders will reveal more announcements and partnerships over the coming weeks and months.

Jan. 31 Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Opposes Ontario Online Market

The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation has strong reservations about Ontario’s launch of online gambling. The Tribe is concerned that the provincial government will “devastate MSIFN’s economy” with the planned launch.

As Kelly LaRocca, chief of MSIFN said in a statement:

“Today’s announcement by the Ford government is a slap in the face of First Nations and reduces their promises of reconciliation to a joke.”

“The government completely and utterly failed to consult our First Nation – leaving their iGaming launch open to constitutional challenge. We intend to challenge the province’s iGaming scheme in court.”

MSIFN is an Indian reserve located near Lake Scugog in Durham Region.

The Tribal group owns the Great Blue Heron Casino, an essential economic engine for the region.

Jan 31 Ontario poker players excluded from global pool

Ontario players’ poker world is about to get smaller.

According to Online Poker Report, Ontario poker sites will not share traffic with other jurisdictions after the April 4 launch. As iGaming Ontario told OPR, pooled liquidity is not allowed in the Ontario regulated market.

Private operators launching in the province must comply with the province’s regulations. However, it is unclear if the change will impact players outside Ontario.

Jan 28 — Ontario Online Gaming Market Opening Has A Date – April 4

It’s go time, baby.

After months of waiting, Ontario online gaming industry and players have a launch date: April 4, 2022.

iGaming Ontario announced the market’s highly anticipated launch via press release.

Martha Otton, iGO Executive Director says via press release:

“Consumers can be assured that companies who successfully enter the new Ontario market will have met rigorous standards of game and operator integrity, fairness, player protections and social responsibility, allowing all players to play with confidence.”

According to the statement, private operators registered with the AGCO and with signed agreements with iGO can start offering their service in Ontario beginning April 4.

The official launch date has been more than seven months in the making and comes after Bill C-218 came into effect last August.

Jan. 26 theScore Bet receives RG Check iGaming Accreditation

theScore Bet, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, received RG Check iGaming Accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council.

theScore Bet is the first private market operator in Ontario to receive RGC’s accreditation. The program is known as one of the world’s most comprehensive responsible gambling accreditation programs.

Working with policymakers, gambling providers, players and those harmed by gambling, the RGC developed RG Check to better the industry. The accreditation process is designed to help operators evaluate, monitor and manage the effectiveness of their RG strategy.

Jan. 21 Launch announcement coming soon says Ontario Attorney General

In a statement to PlayCanada, Natasha Krstajic, spokesperson for Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to establishing a new online gambling market.

“The Ontario Government recently learned about the report developed by HLT Advisory Inc., on behalf of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation,” said Krstajic. “Ontario’s new igaming market will complement existing land-based gaming activity by providing a new opportunity for Ontario’s land-based operators to expand into igaming to diversify revenue sources and cross-promote between online and land-based sites.”

“The government, AGCO and iGaming Ontario are working with prospective operators to ensure Ontario is ready for the market launch,” Krstajic added. “And its timing will be announced soon.”

Jan. 19  Industry source says GCGC report could delay Ontario launch by months

New details of the contents of a report claiming Ontario’s anticipated open online gambling market will shrink the provincial bankroll have come to light.

A report by Legal Sports Report includes a copy of two pages of the report containing a summary of the drawbacks associated with Ontario’s plan, as it stands. The pages also include a list of requests GCGC feels will level the playing field.

Among those requests, GCGC asks the province to ensure only existing land-based casino operators can take sportsbook bets.

In addition, the company is asking the province:

  • Immediately halt the online gambling licensing process.
  • Grant existing land-based casinos a two-year exclusive license to operate internet gaming.
  • Crackdown on “grey” market business.
  • Force competitors to delete existing customer databases before the legal launch.
  • Exclude offshore operators from establishing physical betting locations in the province.

However, the biggest bombshell in LSR’s reporting comes from an unnamed source.

According to the unidentified gaming executive, the impending provincial election could mean any delay is substantial.

“Governments in election mode avoid controversy at all costs.”

The source thinks the report could delay the launch up to three months. And this is after initial plans for a 2021 kick-off failed to be realized.

“There is significant chance this could be delayed,” the source told LSR. “More than 50% in my opinion. GCC has $2 billion invested in the province. It is the largest single employer in the gaming sector. Anyone ignoring that fact is a lobbyist.”

Another Ontario-based gaming consultant, Terry Debono, told LSR we may see an announcement of further delays in the coming week.

Said Debono, “Everyone should be watching Ontario very closely.”

Jan. 17  Great Canadian Gaming attempts to pull the brakes in Ontario

A study commissioned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation found Ontario’s plan to regulate private online casino and sportsbook companies is detrimental to the province. Specifically, it says the plan will kill jobs and result in $2.8 billion in lost tax revenue over the next five years.

The study, completed by HLT Advisory, was obtained by CBC News, which reported the findings to the public on Monday. According to insiders, the Ontario government had the opportunity to review the findings prior.

British Columbia-based Great Canadian operates 26 land-based casinos nationally, 14 in Ontario. So, the company has an interest in keeping the competition in check.

Whether the province will take Great Canadian seriously is unknown. But there’s concern among those waiting on a launch announcement. Fears include the chance the report could delay Ontario’s igaming launch until after the provincial election, or longer.

Jan. 14  PointsBet Canada signs multi-year deal with Sunnyvale’s finest

PointsBet Canada is the newest resident in Sunnyvale Trailer Park.

The company announced an exclusive, multi-year deal with the Trailer Park Boys on Friday morning via press release. Along with the announcement, PBC released a teaser of the Boys’ first promo ad ahead of Monday’s official Canadian brand launch.

According to Nic Sulsky, PointsBet’s chief commercial officer, the deal is an example of the authenticity PointsBet Canada is striving for.

“Our mission from day one has been to build a sportsbook as authentically Canadian as poutine. And nothing says Canadiana more than the Trailer Park Boys. We are thrilled to have Bubbles, Ricky, and Julian join Canada’s sportsbook to bring fans a new, innovative experience.”

The deal includes content collaborations on the TPB and PBC-owned channels, according to the release. And Sunnyvale’s finest will star in PointsBet’s ad campaigns, activations, and special VIP events.

Jan. 14  With the torch lighting around the corner, Canadians are getting ready

Canadian sports fans will be pleased to find out most can wager on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

However, the launch of Ontario’s expanded sports betting market won’t likely occur before judges award the first medal, nor maybe even the last. However, most Canadians can make Olympic bets through their provincial lotteries. PlayCanada breaks down what’s available, and where, in this helpful post.

Jan. 11  Playtech enters Canada through NorthStar Gaming

Canada’s NorthStar Gaming announced its partnership with the world’s leading software provider, Playtech.

Thanks to the agreement, Playtech will power NorthStar’s upcoming igaming launch in Ontario through its IMS platform.

NorthStar Gaming CEO and founding partner Michael Moskowitz said:

“NorthStar Gaming is thrilled to be the exclusive Canadian partner in the media and publishing sector with Playtech, the world’s leading gambling technology supplier.” 

“Playtech’s industry-leading suite of tools will give us an unmatched edge in the marketplace, given our proprietary content and localization – something we know consumers are looking for.”

Jan. 10 PointsBet Canada Joins NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA)

PointsBet Canada teamed up with the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) to become their exclusive sports betting partner in Canada and official partner in the United States.

Effective immediately, the multi-year deal gives PointsBet Canada the marketing and licensing rights to the NHLAA and the many iconic NHL Alumni across North America.

Nic Sulsky, PointsBet Canada’s CCO said:

“The NHL Alumni Association has always been at the top of our list as PointsBet entered Canada.” 

“Saturday night hockey is an institution from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Being able to partner with the likes of Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Vernon, and the countless other NHL Alumni that skated across our screens will allow us to deliver the authentically Canadian gaming experience that we want to bring sports fans.”

2021 Canada online sports betting and casino updates

Dec. 31 — Ontario’s Auditor General addresses criticism of igaming report

The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario issued a report raising potential legal concerns of the planned market for internet-based casino gambling and sports betting in the province.

As Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, told PlayCanada:

“We put out the report because we do have some concerns with the model.”

“One, from the perspective of whether the model meets the requirements for conduct and manage under the Criminal Code. And secondly, with respect to the governance structure of how iGaming [Ontario] is being organized.”

As Lysyk mentioned in the report, the government should review all issues before opening the market to private operators. If it doesn’t happen, legal challenges could arise.

Dec. 26 — Everi strikes deal with ALC over iGaming content

Everi Digital announced a new partnership that will bring its award-winning games to Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) online casinos.

Everi Digital, Everi Holdings Inc’s division, provides land-based and online casino gaming content. The company specializes in financial technology and player loyalty solutions.

Everi delivers its online slot offerings or ALC  via their proprietary Spark Remote Game Server™ (Spark RGS).

David Lucchese, executive VP of sales, marketing, and digital for Everi, said in a release:

“Our valuable new partnership with ALC allows Everi Digital to expand the footprint of our state-of-the-art Spark RGS platform and deliver high-performing content to online players in Atlantic Canada.”

Dec. 23  CGA Appointments Give Further Clues About Betting Market

The Canadian Gaming Association is making new additions.

After adding four new members to the board of directors a month ago, the trade association announced new appointmentsHard Rock International executive as the CGA’s chairperson and a Flutter Entertainment exec as vice-chair.

Ilkim Hincer is Hard Rock’s executive vice president and chief legal officer, while George Sweny is vice president of compliance at Flutter.

Paul Burns, CGA’s president and CEO, said in a news release.

 “I am pleased that Ilkim has accepted the role of Chair of the Board of Directors.”

“I’ve known Ilkim for years and have followed his notable career in the gaming industry. Ilkim has a strong track record with some of the world’s largest gaming operators, both here in Canada and in the United States.

Dec. 23  Sports Interaction Named NLL’s Official Canadian Sports Betting Partner

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Sports Interaction (SI) have officially teamed up. The news came after the NLL named SI its official Canadian sports betting partner.

The deal was signed on Dec. 17 and featured on NLL broadcasts on TSN throughout the country.

NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said:

“We have been developing the NLL Sports Betting platform as a new line of business throughout the last 20 months, and betting partners are a key part of the platform.”

“We are excited and honoured to bring back a renewed relationship with Sports Interaction that will take our collective marketing efforts to a new level and grow our respective businesses through an engagement platform for our fans as our Official Canadian Sports Betting Partner.”

Dec. 15  Genius Sports Strikes Data Deal With Canadian Football League

Genius Sports has partnered with the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Starting Jan. 2022, the long-term agreement will see the data and technology provider offer a range of services to the CFL.

In return, the B2B provider will have the exclusive rights to leverage CFL’s data and video content for commercial purposes.

Mark Locke, Genius Sports’ CEO, said in a release:

“Together, we will revolutionize the entire CFL product, delivering truly immersive experiences for their existing fans and attracting new audiences who crave year-round, top-flight football action.”

Dec. 14  Alberta Solicits Proposals For Retail & Mobile Sports Betting

Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) issued a request for proposal in search of two commercial sports betting companies to operate in the western province.

As of Dec. 10, interested parties can apply through Alberta Purchasing Connection.

AGLC’s president & CEO, Kandice Machado, said in a release:

“Opening the bid process for retail sportsbetting [sic] in Alberta is another exciting step for sports fans in the province.”

“AGLC is proud to facilitate this next step that will involve the existing casino and racing entertainment centre industry while working with Alberta’s major professional sports teams. Continuing this work is an important step in offering consumers convenience and choice in their gambling entertainment options.”

The proposal process for vendors will close on Jan. 31, 2022.

Dec. 14  Intema aims for Ontario online gambling market

Canadian company Intema Solutions is determined to become a registered online gaming and sports betting operator in the province.

The information technology firm is one of the latest to apply for a market license with Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO).

From Laurent Benezra, Intema’s president and CEO:

“Apart from being Canada’s most populous province, Ontario has taken a leading role in regulating online gaming practices, which bodes very well for newly licensed companies in this large potential market.”

Dec. 13 GameOn strikes a deal with Gaming Society

GameOn has announced a Gaming Society partnership to help promote women’s sports.

The Toronto-based company will license GameOn’s proprietary technology to power the fan engagement initiatives as part of the agreement.

Jaymee Messler, Gaming Society founder, said:

“If you look around the gaming landscape, there aren’t many products that exist for the passionate fan communities of women’s sports.

“Partnering with GameOn will allow women’s sports fans to further invest in their favourite leagues, teams, and athletes while entering the betting space in a more accessible and easier way.”

Dec. 10  Alberta solicits proposals for retail & online sports betting

Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis (AGLC) is welcoming bids from vendors wishing to enter the province’s sports betting market. As of today, interested parties can apply through Alberta Purchasing Connection.

AGLC is aiming for retail and online sports betting options with mobile extensions, to be up and running in 2022. As a first step, AGLC is seeking two operators in the first phase, with additional opportunities possible as the market develops.

Kandice Machado, AGLC’s president & chief executive officer, said in a release:

“Opening the bid process for retail sportsbetting [sic] in Alberta is another exciting step for sports fans in the province.”

AGLC is proud to facilitate this next step that will involve the existing casino and racing entertainment centre industry while working with Alberta’s major professional sports teams. Continuing this work is an important step in offering consumers convenience and choice in their gambling entertainment options.”

AGLC has maintained communication with casino representatives and the Alberta Sports Coalition, representing the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Elks. AGLC will monitor other provincial markets while pulling feedback from the Alberta sports betting industry to safely add to vendor opportunities down the road.

The proposal process for vendors will close on January 31, 2022. Successful proponents of the Negotiated Request for Proposals will be announced when awarded.

Dec. 9 Scientific Games Acquires ELK Studios

Scientific Games strikes an igaming content deal with the acquisition of ELK Studios, a European games developer.

The deal will see Scientific Games bring ELK’s content into the Canadian market and across the US.

The newly signed agreement will further improve the provider’s position in the UK and Europe.

Dylan Slaney, CEO igaming at Scientific Games said:

“We have had a strategic partnership with ELK Studios for a number of years, and its games have performed brilliantly across the OpenGaming platform.”

Nov. 30  SBC Summit North America

Betting and gambling industry experts came together for SBC Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey. It’s the year’s largest gathering with 2,500 delegates and 200 world-class speakers, running from Nov 30 – Dec 2.

Caesars’ board member Jan Jones Blackhurst, Bally’s board chair Soo Kim and the AGA’s CEO Bill Miller are keynote speakers.

Sue Schneider, SBC’s VP, growth & strategy, said:

“We’re delighted to mark our return to the US by presenting what is undoubtedly the strongest speaker lineup ever assembled for a sports betting and igaming industry conference in North America, with all the major operators participating alongside renowned experts from across the sector.”

Nov. 23  Loto-Quebec teamed up with Blueprint Gaming

Slot developer, Blueprint Gaming, partnered with Loto-Québec to launch its games in the province. This latest agreement will see the lottery go live with the offering of Blueprint’s slot titles.

Ryan Collinge, Blueprint’s Gaming’s group business development director said:

“Loto-Québec is building a strong online casino offering.”

”We’re delighted to have secured this partnership with the lottery to supply our wide range of games.”

Nov. 22  OLG introduces live dealer games on OLC.ca

After partnering with Evolution Gaming, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation added an exciting new casino experience with a digital twist.

OLG.ca launched a selection of live dealer games where players can interact directly with casino game presenters via live stream.

Dave Pridmore, OLG’s chief digital and strategy officer, said:

“We’re thrilled to be launching these dynamic, engaging live casino games on OLG.ca. “And to be the only site in Ontario that offers them, adding further choice and convenience for our customers.”

Nov. 19  Parleh Media Group closed a $1M financing round

Parley Media Group (PMG) announced the closure of a $1-million pre-seed financing round.

The Canadian media company added the gaming industry experts Benjie Cherniak and Chris Grove as investors. Las Vegas-based industry experts join PMG to extend the company’s presence in Canada and the US.

According to PMG’s press release, the gambling veterans’ commitment further cements the company “as a rising media presence” in North America.

Nov. 19 Canadian Gaming association added new board members

Scott Burton, Neil Erlick, Jeffrey Haas and Chuck Keeling are the Canadian Gaming Association’s new board members.

The CGA announced four new additions to its board of directors during its annual general meeting.

Paul Burns, CGA’s president and CEO said:

“I am pleased to welcome Scott, Neil, Jeffrey and Chuck to the CGA Board of Directors and believe their experience will help the association implement its operational strategy as we move out of COVID.”

Nov. 18  PointsBet Canada teams up with national curling champs

PointsBet Canada continues to carve out its Canadian position, partnering with national curling champions Kerri Einarson and Kevin Koe. The deal comes only weeks after an agreement with Curling Canada.

Scott Vanderwel, PointsBet Canada’s CEO said:

“PointsBet Canada prides itself on excellence. This is why we are teaming up with two of our country’s top curling teams.”

“We are uniquely Canadian and want to support athletes and teams that embody our love for the sport and the maple leaf.”

Canada’s curling champions share the enthusiasm. Skip Kerri Einarson, two-time reigning women’s national champion added:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with PointsBet Canada. PointsBet has an incredible passion for curling and will grow our sport across Canada.”

Nov. 16: Yggdrasil Slots are coming to Canada

Yggdrasil Gaming is making its Canadian debut after making a deal with International Game Technology (IGT).

The leading software supplier signed a multi-year content distribution deal with IGT. The agreement exclusive access to a selection of Yggdrasil slots for distribution to US and Canadian casinos.

For Yggdrasil, this is a big deal. The agreement marks its introduction to North America.


Mid-November summary

AGCO Releases Gambling Notification Matrix

Early in the month, AGCO released the Gambling Notification Matrix, offering Operators and suppliers a better understanding of responsibilities around regulatory reporting.

Around the same time, rumours around the launch of Ontario’s new competitive market started to swirl. While no launch date is confirmed, feelings among insiders indicate a kickoff in Q1 of next year is more likely than the December start promised.

Live5 Gaming expands into British Columbia

Out on the West Coast, Live5 Gaming is expanding into British Columbia for the first time after getting a nod from the British Columbia Gaming Enforcement and Policy Branch. Live5 will integrate its games into BCLC’s existing system by working with Scientific Games (SG). The company’s technology powers BCLC’s gambling platform, PlayNow.

The addition will see BC players access popular Live5 titles like Sheba, Orb of Osiris, Win In Rome and Minotaur.


October summary

Rivalry and FansUnite set sites on Ontario

Prospective operators and suppliers like Rivalry and FansUnite aren’t wasting any time when it comes to Ontario. The two operators were among the first to apply for registration.

Rivalry is eager to become fully registered in Ontario. To that end, the company submitted its application to the AGCO.

Steven Salz, Rivalry’s co-founder and CEO explained:

“As a Toronto-based company and long-standing member of the tech ecosystem here, we could not be more excited for the opportunity to finally offer our incredible product and brand experiences at home in our own backyard.”

FansUnite officially filed to become a registered gaming supplier, too. As a license holder, FansUnite could offer its full esports and casino white label gaming platform, Chameleon, to other registered operators.

Scott Burton, FansUnite CEO added:

“As a Canadian-grown company, we’ve been looking forward to the day where we can operate in our home country.”

“Ontario’s success will set the framework and serve as the blueprint for how the rest of the provinces could approach regulated gaming. That said, we are eager to be a part of that success.”

Federal government audit reveals OLG abuses

A federal audit of OLG’s business revealed multiple policy violations. The audit raised concerns about the value OLG provides taxpayers. Findings allege OLG misused corporate credit, compensated improper practices, and planned to privatize casinos.

However, according to OLG’s external communications director Tony Bitonti, the credit card expenses were work-related. As Bitonti explained, the government and OLG board approved current salary ranges in 2018. They’ve remained frozen since.

“A third-party assessment has confirmed that these salary ranges fall within market rates for the wider public sector.”

Parley Media launches Parleh TV

Parleh Media Group (PMG) launched Canada’s first dedicated sports betting broadcast network, Parleh TV. As of Oct. 7, we have access to a full slate of sports betting shows and segments. The company engaged dozens of dynamic content creators to deliver videos showcasing sports and events from every coast.

Operators make Canadian moves

With provinces now able to regulate single bets alongside current offerings, some operators are more prepared than others for a share of the action.

BetRivers will enter the Canadian market with the launch of CASINO4FUN. And, when parent company Rush Street Interactive (RSI) receives its Ontario online casino license, players can transition to real money bets.

While awaiting regulatory approvals, PointsBet has also been eager to launch operations. Signing an exclusive partnership with Curling Canada, the operator achieved another milestone in the Canadian gaming scene.

Meanwhile, FanDuel appointed Dale Hooper as the new GM to lead their Canadian expansion.

Penn National completes acquisition of theScore

As previously announced, Penn National Gaming completed its acquisition of Score Media and Gaming (theScore). Back in August, the two entered into a definitive agreement worth $2.4 billion (US$2 billion) in cash and stock. The deal went through on Oct. 19.


September summary

September was a big month for Canadian gambling, with singles bets coming online in most provinces.

Before Bill C-218, Canadians could only wager on parlay bets. The legal change gave provinces to introduce single bets to complement current regional offerings.

Proline Plus, OLG new sports betting platform, launches

OLG’s new sports betting platform, Proline Plus, launched that first day. BCLC, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MLL), and Loto-Québec also introduced singles on day one.

One week later, OLG reported single bets brought in a million-dollar handle in the first week of wagering. In just under a month, Ontarians wagered $6M, including bets on novelty events.

AGCO opens market registration, rolls out application guides

The biggest news for those with eyes on the province: Alcohol And Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) opened registration for potential operators and suppliers on Sept. 13. Those interested can submit applications via iAGCO, AGCO’s online service portal

The AGCO also rolled out an online gambling regulatory guide to assist interested operators and suppliers with their registration applications.

September was also busy on the business front as companies looking at Ontario began building their teams and closing new deals.

Apollo Funds acquire Great Canadian Gaming

Apollo Funds completed its acquisition of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCG) on Sept. 22. Closure of the $2.48 billion deal also saw the appointment of online gambling veteran Anthony “Tony” Rodio to GCG CEO.

PointsBet Canada Stacks the deck

PointsBet Canada was September’s most active commercial sportsbook, adding to an already experienced executive team. The company appointed Scott Vanderwel as CEO and hired Dale Fallon as senior director of product. Previous additions included Nic Sulsky, CCO and Chantal Cipriano, VP – legal, compliance & people.

PointsBet also signed a strategic agreement with Canadian sports-focused websites, Dailyfaceoff.com and The Nation Network.

Saskatchewan signs historic deal with FSIN

Otherwise, on the gambling front, Saskatchewan (the only province currently without regulated online gambling) signed a historic deal with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. According to the agreement signed on Sept. 23, the federation and the province will manage an online gaming website. Insiders expect the launch to happen in 2022.

Sports Betting in Canada from coast, to coast (to coast)

British Columbia

British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) did not wait to offer singles betting to BC-based bettors. The westernmost province launched its expanded sports betting options on day one, powered by Scientific Games’ OpenSports platform. British Columbians can now make bets—single or parlay—on all major sports, including racing and fighting on BCLC’s PlayNow.com.

“This is a landmark moment for BCLC and our players,” says Lynda Cavanaugh, BCLC’s Interim President and CEO.

“We’re excited to enhance our offerings on PlayNow.com, the only gambling website operating in BC where revenue goes back to British Columbians by supporting provincial initiatives like healthcare, education and community programs.”

Currently, single-event bets are only available online at PlayNow.

But, BCLC is also exploring opportunities to offer single-event sports betting across land-based channels, including BC casinos. How that rolls out, however, remains to be determined.

Alberta

Alberta’s expanded sports betting market got off to a slower start. Wild rose country let day one come and go without mention of an impending launch. Day 6, however, was a different story.

Yesterday, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) announced sports betting, including single bets, are now available on Play Alberta. The new additions to the province’s only regulated online gambling site offer Albertans an array of new betting options. In addition to the usual wagers, players can place Money Line, Point Spread, Over/Under, and Props bets. And there’s lots of league choice, including the NHL, NFL, CFL, MLB, NBA, European soccer, and more.

PlayAlberta runs on NeoPollard Inretactive’s (NPi), industry-leading NeoSphere iLottery Technology and Sporting Solutions’ Advanced Betting Platform.

AGLC is continuously looking for ways to improve Play Alberta,” said Kandice Machado, Acting President & CEO, AGLC.

Play Alberta Sports Betting will take the existing sports betting market that players are familiar with and introduce a modern option that presents Albertans with choice and convenience in a safe and regulated environment.”

Alberta has its eye on introducing in-person sports betting too.

In a letter to the Senate committee on banking, trade and commerce, Machado noted the opportunities on offer. Namely, in addition to a digital footprint, regulation would allow AGLC to expand sports betting to land-based facilities too.

“Adjusting the Criminal Code to allow for betting on a single event would give AGLC the ability to work with its industry stakeholders to offer sports wagering in destination facilities throughout Alberta,” wrote Machado in June.

According to Canadian Gaming Association CEO Paul Burns, this could include allowing casinos to partner with existing sportsbook operators. While these partnerships would certainly cover retail, there’s an indication of mobile offerings, too.

But we’ll wait to see before we get too excited.

Saskatchewan

Despite being the home province of Kevin Waugh, so far, it looks like Saskatchewan is taking things slower than its western neighbours. In early 2020, Waugh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Grasswood, introduced the singles betting legislation now in effect.

Until recently, Saskatchewan only has a lottery, land-based casinos, and charitable gaming. Sports betting is available through Sports Select and now includes single-event betting. Sports Select is operated by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), of which Saskatchewan is a member. Others include Alberta and Manitoba. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut are associate members too.

Ultimately though, Saskatchewan will likely have in-person and online sports wagering.

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), a non-profit operating seven casinos, has the mandate to run online gaming and sports betting for the province.

In June, Zane Hansen, SIGA’s president and CEO, told the Senate committee that SIGA recently agreed to terms for a gaming app.

Otherwise, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (SaskGaming), which operates two casinos in the province, is not ready to offer singles. But that capability is coming.

SaskGaming, on behalf of the government, has been working with SIGA to explore the options for the delivery of online gaming opportunities in Saskatchewan, opportunities which can be expected to include single-event sports betting,” said Susan Flett, president and CEO.

Manitoba

Manitoba is a bit of an odd bird as far as gambling and sports betting go.

MLL is the crown corporation responsible for overseeing liquor, gaming, and cannabis for the province. It operates two land-based casinos in the region and manages local video lottery terminals (VLTs). As a member of WCLC, MLL also sells their products through a network of privately-owned retailers.

The province differs from Alberta and Saskatchewan in its 2012 partnership with BCLC that brought PlayNow to Manitoba consumers in 2013. It’s this difference that brought single-event bets to Manitobans on day one, too. But, despite their early adoption, MLL is considering other ways to benefit from the new singles opportunity.

​​”PlayNow.com players will soon have the option to wager on the outcome of just a single game or match or to place wagers on the outcomes of single fights and races,” spokesperson Susan Harrison before launch. “Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is also exploring additional opportunities where single-event sports betting could potentially be offered.”

Ontario

When it comes to Canadian sports betting, there’s no doubt—all eyes are Ontario.

As we expect from Canada’s most populous province, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) took immediate advantage of single-event wagers.

On day one, OLG launched Proline Plus, the next generation of Proline, its standard sports betting offering. Proline Plus invites Ontarians to the “plus side,” which features dynamic, competitive, real-time odds and thousands of new wagering options. Including single-event bets.

“We’re thrilled to launch our new digital sportsbook, Proline Plus on this momentous day,” said Duncan Hannay, OLG President and CEO. “More events, more betting options, and greater accessibility means more fan engagement.”

Ontario is open for business

By far, the opportunity that has most folks excited is Ontario’s plan to open online gambling to competition from private operators. Doing so will make Ontario the fifth-largest market in North America, and many folks are waiting with bated breath.

In preparation for the competitive market, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has engaged with stakeholders on all aspects of the new sector. They’ve also established iGaming Ontario, the agency responsible for managing internet gaming by private operators.

As for those private operators, some big names are looking for inclusion in Ontario’s new sports betting frontier. From usual suspects like DraftKings and PointsBet to unexpected entrants like TorStar, it seems everyone wants some of Ontario’s pie. Toronto Star’s publisher surprised everyone when they announced launching a sportsbook this fall, subject to AGCO approval.

Like Canada’s sports media darlings, Score Media and Gaming (theScore), other potential players make more sense. theScore is planning to launch their sportsbook, theScore Bet, in Ontario (also pending approval) as soon as possible. They’re even moving their headquarters into fancy new digs on Toronto’s waterfront in anticipation.

Applications opened recently for Ontario’s new online gambling market in preparation for what was supposed to be a December launch. Now, however, AGCO has hinted at a delay until early 2022.

Until then, Ontarians’ only legal option for single-event bets is OLG’s Proline Plus.

Québec

In Canada’s second most-populated province, Loto-Québec has taken the reigns on the expansion into single bets. They entered the fray on Aug. 27 with OLG, BCLC, and MLL. And, as with the latter two, Scientific Games’ OpenSports was under the hood.

Things kicked off with single-bets available at retailers and on the lottery’s online gaming platform, Mise-o-jeu. And Loto-Québec couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

“This move to allow single betting is great news for sports betting fans and Loto-Québec alike,” said Louis Beaudet, Director of Sports and Entertainment Betting. “We know that consumers have wanted to bet on the outcome of single games for a long time, and we’re thrilled to be able to give them what they want.”

Atlantic Canada

Like WCLC in the prairies, lottery on the east coast is run collectively by the four Atlantic provinces. Through alc.ca, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) offers parlay bets to residents of its member provinces. While ALC is a collective, what’s available in each region differs according to provincial laws. For example, New Brunswick (NB) is the only Atlantic province with access to ALC’s online casino offerings. ALC launched the casino as a pilot project in August 2020 with plans to eventually expand into Nova Scotia (NS) and Prince Edward Island (PEI). However, ALC has yet to broach extending ALC’s casino offering into Newfoundland and Labrador (NFLD). And, as of publication, only NB’s casino is live.

ALC offers parlay betting in all four provinces through their Proline sports betting product.

But, when it comes to single-event sports wagers, it’s not quite so uniform.

Like, BCLC, Loto-Quèbec, MLL, and OLG, ALC launched single-event bets on the first day allowed. And, like the first three, the backbone of their offering is provided by Scientific Games technology.

However, the single-event rollout has not happened across the board. While customers in NB, PEI, and NFLD are free to wager on single events now, players in NS are still waiting.

“The announcement of the Aug. 27 effective date was another step in the process of bringing this new product to players, and we’re working with our provincial shareholders towards this timeline to be able to provide this option in Atlantic Canada,” ALC’s Greg Weston said in an email before launch.

And, as for NS:

“Each province determines what products will be offered to players, and we will be sure to let players know when it becomes available.”

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon

Together Yukon Lotteries Commission and Lotteries Yukon conduct and manage inter-jurisdictional lotteries in the Yukon. Nearby, Nunavut and Northwest Territories jointly operate NWT & Nunavut Lotteries. With smaller populations, Northern regions have less incentive to go out on their own.

So, the Territories only have access to single-event bets via WCLC’s Sport Select offerings.

Kahnawà:ke

Kahnawà:ke is something of a particular case.

The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawà:ke is a First Nations reserve located across from Montreal on the southwestern shore of the Saint Lawrence River.

Today, Kahnawà:ke operates more or less autonomously within Canada, and they express that autonomy in many ways. One that’s more notable is the operation of their regulated gambling industry.

Kahnawà:ke recognized opportunities in interactive gaming early, staking their claim by establishing the Kahnawà:ke Gaming Commission (KGC) in 1996. KGC is the official licensing and regulating authority for all gaming activity within and from the Nation.

On Jul. 8, 1999, the commission enacted its regulations for interactive gaming. Since then, it has, for the most part, effectively regulated interactive gaming—including single-event betting. KGC’s even been at it so long it’s one of the oldest online and land-based casino regulators still in operation.

KGC licenses many operators, including one very close to home. Sports Interaction is an online sportsbook that’s been in taking bets for more than two decades. Operated by Mohawk Online, a socio-economic initiative owned by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK), revenues help fund the Nation.

Technically, MCK, KGC, Mohawk Online, and Sports Interaction operate in conflict with Canadian law. But, in the more than two decades they’ve been doing it, they’ve never faced a legal challenge.

That said, when Bill C-218 was in debate in both the House and Senate, MCK asked for an amendment protecting Indigenous rights. Legislators ended up tacking on an amendment to protect horse racing from the destruction fixed-odds would bring. But Kahnawà:ke and other Indigenous interests were left to fend for themselves.

But, should a legal challenge ever come, Kahnawà:ke has a pretty solid case for inherent rights. And at this point, who would want to test it?

*with files from Katarina Vojvodic Zimonjic
Photo by Dreamstime.com
Robyn McNeil Avatar
Written by
Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor. She lives in Halifax with an awesome teen, a mischievous cat, and a penchant for good stories, strong tea, cheeseburgers, yoga, graveyards, hammocks, gardening, games, herb, and hoppy beer.

View all posts by Robyn McNeil
Privacy Policy