PlayFallsview Quietly Launches Ontario Online Casino Ahead Of App Drop

Written By Robyn McNeil on August 5, 2022
PlayFallsview quietly launches in Ontario for web ahead of app drop. launch ad welcoming folks to sign on and play.d has entered the chat.

Quietly and without fanfare on Tuesday PlaysFallsview began welcoming customers to its Ontario online casino and sportsbook. The soft launch, says Rich Roberts, president of Mohegan Digital, comes a few weeks before a full-fledged roll-out.

“It’s only mobile web and web at this point,” Roberts told PlayCanada.

The app, added Roberts, will be ready closer to the end of August. But Mohegan wanted to get the platform out and into players’ hands with the web and mobile-web versions ready to go.

Nearly two days in, it’s so far, so good.

“From a product perspective,” said Roberts, “it’s working fine.

“We’ve got a good following that has come in and is testing out the site and playing the content. And so, we’re excited about being open, and we’re excited about those who are helping us make sure we’ve got a product that the Fallsview Momentum players would expect.”

App aims to be acquisition tool for Mohegan’s Ontario casinos

In 2019, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment signed a 21-year deal with Ontario Lottery and Gaming to oversee daily operations in Niagara. The “Niagara Bundle,” as it’s called, includes Niagara Casino, Fallsview Casino Resort and the Fallsview Casino Entertainment Centre. However, entertainment at the new 5,000-seat theatre is still on pause while the operators iron out the remaining kinks.

In May, MGE was the first land-based operator licensed for online gambling by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. AGCO and iGaming Ontario are responsible for regulating and enforcing the standards of Ontario’s new market, which launched in April.

As the digital arm of MGE, Mohegan Digital leads the brand’s charge in the online gaming space.

“We are an extension of the Fallsview and Niagara casinos,” said Roberts of the PlayFallsview brand. “We’re bringing to the market a complimentary mobile product to the casinos.”

Roberts added:

“What we expect to happen in Ontario is very similar to what we’re doing in Connecticut. More than 30% of our signups in Connecticut are people who are not Momentum cardholders of Mohegan. So we are becoming a significant acquisition tool for the retail casino.”

“What we’ve done here is as people sign up through the digital apps and the website, we put programmes together to encourage them to visit the casino. And in Ontario, the plan is similar.”

[Momentum is Mohegan Gaming’s customer reward program that gives players access to exclusive benefits at Mohegan properties. Roberts expects the program to include Ontario’s digital customers by the end of the year.]

Partnerships and guidance crucial to PlayFallsview’s success in Ontario online casino

“Our partner on the casino side is Pala Interactive,” Roberts said. “In conjunction with Kambi, they’re providing the casino and sportsbook [from a digital perspective] for us.”

Mohegan announced the deal with Kambi back in May. They already had a relationship with the B2B operator through Unibet, which operates out of Mohegan’s Pennsylvania property. PlayFallsview is the first opportunity to work directly with Pala, however.

Mohegan, added Roberts, is pleased to be working with both companies:” They’ve been wonderful,” he said.

Roberts also spoke of “great” relationships with Ontario’s regulators: OLG, iGO and AGCO.

“OLG. The team there, the team at iGO and the helpfulness of the AGCO; I couldn’t ask for anything more. They’ve been outstanding.”

Timeline for retail sportsbooks in Ontario remains TBD

Introducing retail sportsbooks in Ontario is still on the table, says Roberts. But with his focus on the Niagara casinos’ digital offerings, all he can say is he knows discussions are happening. “I don’t have any information,” he said. “I know it’s being discussed. But that comes from the retail side.”

As for the rest of Canada, should other provinces follow Ontario’s lead, Mohegan would consider expanding, said Roberts.

“We would consider looking at those provinces once we understand what the business opportunity is. But it has to first be a regulated market like Ontario.”

Roberts optimistic about PlayFallsview’s success in Ontario online gambling

Mohegan expects to face extensive online casino and sports betting competition in Ontario.

“The market itself is going to be very competitive,” said Roberts, noting how the AGCO referenced expectations for as many as 72 operators during the Canadian Gaming Summit in June.

“That’s a large number,” said Roberts. “In Connecticut, we have one competitor on the casino side and two on the sportsbook side. So. it’s a different competitive marketplace.”

However, he added that Fallsview has “the highest quality name” in Ontario gaming.

The plan is to capitalize on that recognition and create a digital experience that drives audience engagement.

“From an outlook perspective, it would be focusing on those customers and building a product that’s going to suit their digital gaming.”

Roberts continued:

“With the Fallsview name, we’ve certainly got the best brand to work with. So, that’s a plus for us. With competition comes more challenging acquisitions. And that’s always the biggest challenge for gaming — the cost of acquisition.”

But, Roberts remains optimistic.

“This is going to be an exciting time using a great brand. And we’re very confident that the brand will hold up and the product will be very successful.”

“I’m a brand person. You know, I spent my career in companies like Hasbro, Atari, Viacom. And, at the end of the day, brands win. So, this will be really competitive early on. But the Fallsview brand is not going anywhere.”

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Robyn McNeil

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

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