The Great One has become the Chosen One for BetMGM in Canada.
Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and American-based sports betting giant, BetMGM Canada, inked a multi-year deal on June 2. The announcement makes the NHL’s all-time leading scorer a brand ambassador for the company.
Gretzky, born in Brantford, Ontario, enters the agreement just weeks before Bill C-218 cleared the Senate in his home country. The passing of the bill is a monumental change that will legalize single-sports betting in Canada.
He will serve in BetMGM’s hockey and North American marketing efforts.
Specifics around compensation and his day-to-day role remain undisclosed.
“BetMGM is a terrific company and one at the forefront of the dynamic changes taking place in the sports business,” Gretzky said in a news release.
“I’m excited to be a part of the company’s continued expansion into new states and territories and to help tell BetMGM’s story.”
Canada wagers on sports betting
Unlike Canada, the United States legalized single-event sports betting in 2018. Ever since, the lucrative market has only grown, with companies like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel cashing in.
Deloitte Canada reports that in “November 2020, New Jersey recorded a total sports betting handle of US$931 million.”
The Canadian market, however, remains untapped (legally, at least).
But the Criminal Code’s ban on single-game sports betting only pushed Canadian bettors to the black and gray markets. According to the Canadian Gaming Association, illegal markets ran wild, with operators raking in 14 billion Canadian dollars annually.
With Tuesday’s decision, BetMGM is surely hoping Gretzky’s presence will take their company to the next level.
“As we look toward potential expansion into Canada, and elsewhere throughout the United States, Wayne will bring a unique ability to tell our brand story,” BetMGM’s chief revenue officer Matt Prevost stated.
Deloitte also reports Canadians could place CA$28 billion in bets per year only five years after legalization.
It’s fair to wager BetMGM is hoping Gretzky helps drive those numbers.