Ontario is Now Making Book

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A general view of the Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP

Canada’s most populated province has finally allowed private sportsbook operators access to its extensive market.

It has been a long time coming but now the ferocious battle for early adopters and new customers begins!

Make a Bet? You Betcha!

Single-game betting has been available through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) since August 27, 2021.

But the universe has expanded dramatically for Ontario punters as the big boys are now allowed to roam free and offer their customers a myriad of sporting events as well as online casino games.

BetRivers Sportsbook Ontario, BetMGM Sportsbook Ontario, theScore Bet, and PointsBet Sportsbook Ontario are early to the party but there are as many as 25 licensed operators already approved and more are still waiting to get the green light.

And in this sports betting battle royale, all of these operators will ultimately be wrestling for valuable market share.

“Today is a great day for Ontario sports fans,” said Scott Vanderwel, the chief executive officer of PointsBet Canada.

“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 EDT, 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.”

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) released a statement before the launch that read in part, “The AGCO continues to work with and help prepare operators and gaming-related suppliers for the launch of Ontario’s new iGaming market on April 4, 2022.

Not every operator will be ready to launch their services on day one. Some are more ready than others.

This means Ontario’s new iGaming market will steadily expand in the weeks and months following the market’s launch.”

Penn National’s Planning Pays Off

One of those that launched on Monday was theScore Bet, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc., based in Toronto.

It was last year that Penn National shelled out $2 billion for Score Media, operators of theScore Bet app, and understood the landscape in which they were entering.

Upon announcing its acquisition, Penn CEO Jay Snowden said, “We are thrilled to be acquiring theScore, which is the number one sports app in Canada and the third most popular sports app in all of North America.

theScore’s unique media platform and modern, state-of-the-art technology is a powerful complement to the reach of Barstool Sports and its popular personalities and content.”

And it was Snowden again that was on the scene when theScore betting app launched, and he stated, “(Monday’s) launch is significant as it expands Penn National’s online gaming business to a jurisdiction that is expected to be one of the largest regulated markets in North America.

We’re proud to enter this market behind a trusted and authentic Canadian brand that resonates deeply with Ontarians.

“From the outset, the Levy family and theScore team played a meaningful role in championing the legalization of single-event sports betting and the creation of Ontario’s framework.

With its large user base, superior technology, and mobile gaming expertise, theScore Bet is in a strong position and I’m highly encouraged about the opportunity ahead.”

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