Betano To Suspend Grey-Market Operations Across Canada Starting Dec. 18

Written By Matthew Lomon on December 16, 2023 - Last Updated on April 24, 2024
Photo of a woman from Betano holding up a dismissive hand to a grey cloud hanging over much of a map of Canada. The image represents Betano's decision to stop offering gambling in the grey market in Canada outside of the grey market

The bustling unregulated Canadian online gambling scene, otherwise known as the grey market, will be down one more operator come Monday.

Kaizen Gaming’s Betano informed players earlier this week of its plan to cease grey-market operations outside of Ontario starting Dec. 18, 2023. The news came through an official notice delivered on the company’s Canadian website.

As a result, Betano users not physically located in Ontario will no longer be able to:

  • Make deposits
  • Play any casino games, or
  • Place any new sports bets

The move will not affect Betano’s Ontario online casino and Betano’s sports betting product, which will continue operations as usual. According to PlayCanada’s comprehensive list of live operators, the Greece-based operator joined Ontario’s iGaming market on Oct. 17, 2022.

Next steps for grey-market Betano users ahead of Dec. 18 deadline

Once Betano suspends its grey market operations on Dec. 18, non-Ontario users will still have two more dates to keep an eye on.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, any existing wagers on sporting events will be voided and the original stake will be returned to the corresponding account. From there, the operator known for its popularity amongst soccer bettors says to withdraw all remaining funds by Jan. 31, 2024.

What’s more, any outstanding bet credits, unused bonuses, or bonus spins are not eligible for refund and carry no cash value.

For what it’s worth, these are typical standards that also apply in regulated gambling jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, NorthStar Bets is jumping into the grey market

Betano’s news is the opposite of an announcement made recently by another legal Ontario online gambling platform. In November, Northstar Bets, which is based in Ontario, announced it was jumping into the grey market in the rest of Canada.

The move raised some eyebrows and legal questions.

Betano’s Ontario-centric focus a loss for fans of zany wagers

For Betano, deciding to cut off a customer base was not an easy choice, but the correct one given the plethora of harms associated with unregulated online gambling.

However, fans who enjoy wagers of the peculiar variety will have to turn elsewhere for their fill of quirky options. Earlier this year, PlayCanada explored some of the off-beat-bets available through the 30-plus online sportsbooks in Ontario. The analysis ultimately crowned Betano as the clear winner for weird and wonderful prop bets.

Although now dated, some interesting lines included:

  • The winner of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Who will play Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, Hagrid and McGonagall in the new Harry Potter TV Series.
  • Most Twitter followers by the end of 2023.
  • The winner of the 2023 Nobel Literature Prize.
  • Who will be NATO Secretary General as of Dec. 1, 2023.

For now, bettors outside Canada’s most populous province will have to rely on government-operated gambling sites for the safest online betting experience.

Photo by PlayCanada
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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