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Canada & Ontario sports betting & gaming news

SNBET covers Canadian sports betting & online gaming news, with a focus on the legal Ontario market context, as well as issues and developments in other provinces as they continue to come to grips with the so-called "grey market" of offshore online gambling providers. Important international betting & gaming industry developments are also covered.

 

Ontario iGaming regulator publishes new marketing guidelines - February 13, 2024

The AGCO released guidance to support igaming standards, so that licensed Ontario online gambling operators can have a clearer understanding of how they may and may not market their products going forward. We highlight the key changes to the Standard, and explain where Ontarians and operators will see the related impacts.

 

Alberta looks to develop its own regulated online sports betting & gambling market - February 7, 2024 

"Minister of Service Alberta And Red Tape Reduction", Dale Nally, an Alberta MLA attended the ICE London iGaming conference to engage stakeholders and touted what will be a low tax rate within the eventual regime. While no hard plans were announced, it is a clear signal that Alberta is looking to follow in Ontario's footsteps in the regulation of online gambling.

 

iGaming Ontario sees huge growth in 2023/24 third quarter - January 22, 2024

iGaming Ontario announced huge growth in Q3 of 2023/34. We breakdown the year-over-year results compared to Q3 of 2022/23, along with context for this growth. We also highlight the Ontario sports betting handle for the quarter, where it's pretty clear if not stated outright, that Ontario has achieved an often-mentioned milestone: the billion-dollar month.

 

Self-exclusion programs in Canadian provinces that grapple with the "grey market": how do they compare with those found in regulated markets? - January 19, 2024

As Ontario looks to build a centralised self-exclusion system for its regulated igaming market, we wanted to highlight the solutions that other regulated jurisdictions have built in this respect, and discuss the respective levels of success.  In doing so we compare self-exclusion solutions & stats in Denmark, Sweden & the UK to those in Canada, that remain in unregulated markets.

 

iGaming Ontario to request proposals for centralized self-exclusion system - January 9, 2024

In early 2024, iGaming Ontario will request proposals toward the development of a centralized player self-exclusion system. We discuss its importance, the examples to follow, the hurdles to overcome and why this development is a huge reason that other Canadian provinces should look to regulate online gambling sites for their citizens.

 

Québec iGaming lobby group reports new survey results, adds GeoComply as partner - December 13, 2023

Confirming the strength of the "grey market" for online gambling in La Belle Province, the Québec Online Gaming Coalition reported its recent survey results and announced the addition of GeoComply as a partner.

 

Ontario sportsbook consolidation continues with impending exit of Unibet, as additional casino-only brands are added - December 11, 2023

First, CoolBet left Ontario. Now, Kindred Groups's Unibet will exit the Ontario market, while new casino-only brands will be entering it.  We look at where it went wrong for Unibet in Ontario, as the casino-only portion of the iGaming Ontario market continues to grow.

 

How much tax revenue are Canadian provinces missing out on by failing to confront the issue of "grey market" gambling sites? - November 13, 2023

iGaming Ontario reports have provided considerable insights about the size of the market for its licensed, "private" online gambling operators. With this data, and our own estimates for the full second year results for Ontario, we extrapolated how these figures might look for the rest of Canada, to see just how much money Canadian provinces are losing by not regulating and taxing online betting and gambling.

 

Full year 2022/23 Ontario Sports Betting Results: OLG & iGO - October 26, 2023

We discuss the full 2022/23 fiscal revenue and sports betting handle (wagers) for iGaming Ontario and Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation. We also use the recent, more granular iGO quarterly reports to interpolate Ontario's 2022/23 sports betting handle figures, and make our predictions in this vein for 2023/24.
 

iGaming Ontario releases Q2 2023/24 results - October 12, 2023

iGaming Ontario announced suprising Q2 2023/24 results, in what should be their least busy quarter within the calendar. However, the numbers showed there was essentially no slowing down Ontario players in the summer months.

 

AGCO moves to limit athletes & social media influencers in gambling ads - August 30, 2023

Having forewarned of marketing rule changes in April, yesterday, Ontario's gambling regulator announced rules to limit ads that use athletes or social media influencers.  While limiting the broad appeal of pro athletes in such ads will make a positive difference, the context around of limiting social media influencers in such ads could very well backfire within the province.

 

iGaming Ontario Releases 2023/24 Q1 Results & Improves Reporting - July 20, 2023

iGO released their first quarter 2023/24 results with a new level of reporting granularity. We now can see the "handle" and revenue within each igaming verical: sports betting, casino & poker.

 

Quebec Online Gaming Coalition launches - May 23, 2023

Several B2B and B2C iGaming companies have joined together to form the Quebec Online Gaming Coalition, in order to lobby for the creation of a regulated iGaming market in Quebec, essentially arguing for the replication of iGaming Ontario framework in Canada's second most-populous province.

 

Wynn Resorts to build UAE's first casino & gaming resort - April 28, 2023

American luxury casino gaming & resort company, Wynn Resorts, has announced the development of a 1,500-room casino resort to be built in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. This project will be the first of its kind in the Islamic nation, as the race to develop its tourism industry ramps up, in competition with its neighours in the Gulf Region.

 

iGaming Ontario announces 2022/23 Q3 results - January 26, 2023

With most of its key brands finally on-board for a full quarter, and the addition of the NFL season and a FIFA World Cup to the sporting schedule, iGaming Ontario announced blowout Q3 2022/23 results.  We discuss the results, the overall Ontario market and what this means for quarters going forward.

 

AGCO reinstates UFC betting in Ontario - January 20, 2023

Having recently banned UFC betting in late 2022 as a result of integrity concerns, the AGCO has now reinstated UFC betting in Ontario as a result of several changes made by the MMA organisation that address these concerns.

 

Cleveland Guardians & bet365 announce partnership - January 11, 2023

Just days after the Ohio online and mobile sports betting market opened, MLB's Cleveland Guardians and bet365 announced a multi-year partnership.

 

VICI Properties Inc buys four Alberta gaming locations - January 9, 2023

The VICI REIT agreed to purchase four locations from Pure Canadian Gaming for over $270 million for the purposes of a leaseback agreement.

 

OCCC fines three operators $150,000 each for marketing violations - January 6, 2023

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has taken administrative action against BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings for violating marketing rules.  The incident has caused waves across the US sports betting industry, spurring very quick changes to the approach operators take in structuring the marketing language for their new player offers across the country.

 

OCCC fines DraftKings $350k for marketing to minors - December 31, 2022

The Ohio online sports betting market isn't yet open, but the Ohio Casino Control Commission has already handed down a decision that it intends to fine DraftKings for advertising directly to 2,500 people that were under 21 years of age.

 

iGaming Ontario's NitroCasino.ca to close after only 3 months - Decemeber 29, 2022

PressEnter Group closes Nitro Casino Ontario after less than 3 months of operation.  This marks the first iGaming Ontario brand closure since the market opened on April 4 of this year.

 

Delta Bingo gains AGCO iGaming license - December 19, 2022

Ontario bingo hall operator, Delta Bingo has gained its Ontario iGaming license.  The company already operates "Vegas Style" games at its locations, in addition to bingo games. The move will allow the company to potentially complement their bricks and mortar efforts with both online bingo and slots games.

 

TonyBet gains Ontario license - December 5, 2022

Estonia's TonyBet gains Ontario license from the AGCO over seven months after that province's market opened.

 

Ontario's gaming regulator to forbid UFC wagering - December 1, 2022

The AGCO bans UFC betting in Ontario due to insufficient safeguards surrounding match-fixing, cheat-at-play, and other illicit activity that might influence events.  Lack of governing body supervision & suspicion of insider betting activity leads Ontario's regulator to this difficult decision on event wagering within this very popular professional MMA body.

 

NetBet gains Ontario license - November 7, 2022

International online casino and sports betting brand NetBet has gained its AGCO license for operation in Ontario.

 

Betway signs partnership with Miami Heat - October 28, 2022

In yet another pro team marketing deal, Super Group's Betway has struck an agreement market itself within the Miami Heat's arena. We look at the reasons for such a partnership given that online sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Florida.

 

Kindred Group's Unibet to exit Iowa - October 27, 2022

Kindred Group has announced that they will not renew their online sports betting license in Iowa for their Unibet brand.

 

Wildz & SpinAway gain Ontario igaming licenses - October 27, 2022

Separate iCasino operators Rootz Ltd. and Ngame N.V. have secured AGCO licenses for Wildz and SpinAway casino brands respectively in order to operate in Ontario.

 

Kambi to provide sports betting terminals for 10 Great Canadian Entertainment casino locations - October 21, 2022

Swedish online and retail sportsbook platform solution provider Kambi has announced it will provide retail terminals to 10 casino locations in Ontario for the gaming company that is owned by Apollo Global Management.

 

VideoSlots & MrVegas casino brands get Ontario licenses -  October 20, 2022

The operating entity known as "VideoSlots Limited" has gained AGCO licenses for MrVegas and its flagship VideoSlots brand.  

 

Fubo announces closure of its sportsbook operations - October 17, 2023

The US TV streaming service had put its gaming business into strategic review.  The result of this review is that Fubo will cease its sportsbook operations, which were live in Arizona, Iowa & New Jersey.

 

LuckyDays casino gains AGCO license - October 14, 2022

The entity known as L7 Entertainment received its Ontario licence for LuckyDays.ca casino.  The brand operates a "grey market" casino site from Curaçao, so this move will migrate players and revenue to the legal Ontario market. The move is not unprecedented for the company, as they also operate their brand in the regulated market of Sweden.

 

iGaming Ontario releases the results of its second ever quarter - October 13, 2022

On October 12, iGaming Ontario announced their 2022/23 Fiscal Q2 performance results report.  The report showed an upward trajectory across all listed KPI.  We break down the numbers and provide context as to why the figures will be even better in Q3.

 

BetRivers announces Bob McCown as latest brand ambassador - October 11, 2022

Notable Canadian sports broadcaster, Bob McCown has signed a multi-year deal to become a brand ambassador for BetRivers, and his show, "The Bob McCown Podcast" will air as part of the BetRivers Network of podcasts.

 

AGCO amends live dealer casino game regulations - October 4, 2022

Live Dealer casino games have been tremendously popular within Ontario's new iGaming market.  To ensure a heightened level of fairness for the gaming public, the AGCO has announced live dealer casino game standard amendements

 

AGCO sets OCT 31/22 compliance deadline for Ontario iGaming operators & suppliers - October 4, 2022

As the AGCO wished to cause as little disruption to existing Ontario players, the AGCO was allowing for a transition period for operators and gaming suppliers to gain compliance and complete licensure.  The AGCO has now set a deadline to end this transition period, for the end of October 2022.  Operators and suppliers need to be in compliance, they or risk their ability to serve the market.

 

Betsson AB brand "Betsafe" receives Ontario license - September 29, 2022

The Nordic iGaming corporation had indicated during investor calls that it would look to gain its license in Canada's first fully legal iGaming market. Betsafe received its Ontario license with the hopes of being live on the iGaming Ontario platform for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November.

 

Kahnawake-based CanPlayCasino brand gains AGCO license under Pala Interactive - September 29, 2022

CanPlayCasino-dot-com gains license to operate a version of its site for Ontario. Interestingly, the registered entities are different between the Kahnawake-based site and the one registered for play in Ontario. Curiously, the registrant of the Kahnawake version also has other brands with the KGC, but those brands have not yet gained their licenses to date.

 

Seven Kahnawake-based casino brands seemingly gain AGCO licenses - September 28, 2022

Various online casino brands that have advertised their free-play sites on TV in Canada, and which have their real-money sites based in the Mohawk Territory's iGaming jurisdiction, like Zodiac Casino and Yukon Gold Casino, have seemingly moved to gain their Ontario licenses.

 

PressEnter's Nitro Casino gains Ontario license - September 16, 2022

The long-time "grey market" online casino operator has been advertising its free-play casino site of the same brand in Canada for years. Today, PressEnter's Nitro Casino gained its Ontario license, so it will be able to keep all the players it had previously acquired in that province, and move forward to continue its growth there.

 

Long-time "grey market" sportsbook, Pinnacle gains Ontario license - September 7, 2022

Serving all of Canada from the iGaming jurisdiction of Curaçao for over 20 years, the high-limit, low margin online bookmaker took a nearly unprecedented step when Pinnacle gained its Ontario license.

 

Bet99 gains Ontario iGaming license - September 2, 2022

A widely advertised Kahnawake-based iGaming operator that has secured marketing partnerships with many sports and sports-adjacent personalities, Bet99 has secured a license to operate in Ontario's legal market.

 

AGCO fines Unibet for marketing infractions - August 26, 2022

Kindred Group's Unibet has been fined $48,000 for violating Ontario's marketing standards.

 

Sports Interaction receives license to serve Ontario - August 24, 2022

SIA needed to join the legal Ontario iGaming market because its parent company Entain, already had licenses for three other gaming brands.  Thus, they made it official and Sports Interaction gained their license to serve Ontario

 

Orioles announce partnership with SuperBook Sports - August 18, 2022

MLB's Baltimore Orioles have announced a long-term partnership with SuperBook Sports.  The agreement will see the first retail sportsbook lounge built at Camden Yards as Maryland looks to open their regulated retail and online sportsbook market in late 2022 or early 2023.

 

Kaizen Gaming brand "Betano" gains Ontario license - August 17, 2022 

Internationally regulated sports betting and iCasino operator Kaizen Gaming has received approval from the AGCO for their "Betano" brand.

 

AGCO fines DraftKings $100k for advertising inducements - June 30, 2022

Ontario's gaming regulator hands DraftKings a fine for broad advertisement of an odds boost promotion.  No advertising of "inducements" is allowed in Ontario.

 

Bally Bet gains Ontario license - June 30, 2022

The US online casino and sportsbook brand firms up their ability to offer their iGaming platform in Canada's most populous province.  While Bally Bet received their Ontario iGaming license, they initially only plan to offer online casino games, hoping to introduce sports betting at a later date.

 

Super Group's "Spin" casino brands gain Ontario licenses - June 23, 2022

Anyone that studies reported gaming revenue of publicly traded gaming companies will know that this is very significant news for iGaming Ontario.  With Super Group's "Spin" casino brands gaining their Ontario licenses, iGaming Ontario will be onboarding an operator that was earning tens millions of dollars every year, from Ontario's former "grey market" for online casino play. 

 

PokerStars, Casumo gain Ontario licenses - June 8, 2022

Unrelated iGaming brands PokerStars and Casumo received licenses from the AGCO in order to offer their chosen gaming verticals to players located in Ontario.

 

BetVictor receives Ontario license - June 6, 2022

On June 3, 2022, well-established UK online bookmaker and casino brand, BetVictor gained its Ontario license to serve players in the province in an official and fully legal capacity.

 

DraftKings gains Ontario license for sportsbook & casino verticals - May 13, 2022

American Daily Fantasy Sports and sportsbook brand DraftKings has been granted license to operate its sports betting and online casino games in Ontario. The company however had to withdraw their DFS offering in the province until local AGCO regulations move to cover this type of gaming.

 

AGCO announces first operator fines - May 4, 2022

BetMGM and PointsBet have been fined by the AGCO for allegedly failing to comply with AGCO standards. 

 

SkillOnNet's PlayOJO & other online casino brands gain Ontario licenses - May 2, 2022

International iGaming operator and gaming software publisher, SkillOnNet, has operated several online casino brands within Canada's "grey market" for years. Several brands received prominent associated media ad campaigns, and these online casino brands, including PlayOJO casino have now received their Ontario license.

 

Betway gains Ontario license - April 19, 2022

One of the leading "grey market" iGaming brands, Betway has gained its Ontario license.

 

AGCO opens the iGaming market in Ontario - April 4, 2022

With the opening of the market on April 4, 2022, Canada's most populous province now has official iGaming Ontario betting sites and legal Ontario online casinos. People located in the province can now know they are playing at fully licensed & legal providers that pay fees & taxes to the government, while submitting to Responsible Gaming and fairness standards. A milestone in Canada.

 

AGCO releases iGaming marketing rules - March 17, 2022

The AGCO iGaming marketing rules are strict in some ways, but leave consumers without the ability to gather good information. They also set rules that make us wonder about one particular offering from PointsBet.

 

BetRivers, 888 secure Ontario licenses - March 10, 2022

BetRivers, 888sport, 888casino & 888poker will be available to players in Ontario through its legal iGaming market from April 4 onward, as the parent companies Rush Street Interactive and 888 have secured their Ontario iGaming licenses from the AGCO. SNBET already has a BetRivers Canada preview

 

Torstar's iGaming company chooses its tech providers - February 1, 2022

Torstar's iGaming venture, 'NorthStar Gaming' has chosen Playtech and Kambi to be their iCasino and sportsbook technology partners as they look to enter the legal Ontario iGaming market, which opens on April 4, 2022.

 

Ontario iGaming market to open on April 4, 2022 - January 28, 2022

iGO announced the date for market launch on January 28, 2022.  SNBET talks about the news, which sports betting companies will be under pressure to be ready, as well as the regulators that will face a difference kind of pressure as iGO revenue starts to be reported from May 2022 onward.

 

PointsBet named official partner of University of Maryland - December 9, 2021

With the first sports betting partnership within the NCAA's Big Ten conference, PointsBet becomes the official partner of the University of Maryland Athletics.

 

AGCO sets key compliance guidelines that will shape the sports betting market - update November 17, 2021.

Key compliance points have been issued by the AGCO around marketing and the exiting of non-compliant ('grey market') Ontario gaming operations. These guidelines are important ones that will affect both how the market itself is shaped and how the actual operators must proceed with their own properties in order to fully comply as they enter the legal Ontario sports betting scene.  The latter of these two points will be fairly simple for some operators, and not so simple for others. 

 

iGaming Ontario will not act as 'the police' for other provincial jurisdictions - update September 29, 2021

iGaming Ontario has announced that they will not mandate that their license applicants and holders stop serving other provinces across Canada from the 'grey market'.  SNBET gives you its analysis on this key decision for online sports betting in Ontario and what it means for online betting regulation in Canada going forward.  Expect many Ontario licensed betting sites to be live and ready to legally accept players in the province in early 2022.  Some gaming companies that enter the market however may only opt to introduce mobile sports betting apps rather than websites, even in the face of increasing consumer concerns over mobile app data privacy. 

 

Caesars named as Colts official betting & casino partner - September 17, 2021

The NFL's Indianapolis Colts name Caesars as their official sportsbook & casino partner.  The deal expands upon existing agreements with Caesars' two Indiana-based casino locations.

 

Single-event sports betting news update June 30, 2021

Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act received Royal Assent to become law in Canada on June 30, 2021.  The provincial gaming regulators will now be tasked with rolling out strategies and regulatory frameworks with regard to how single-event betting will be offered to their respective populations.  Follow SNBET.ca on Twitter for the latest news on these rollouts across Canada, or read our take on the current state of things: After Bill C-218: What's next in Canadian sports betting?  In it, we outline why the 'grey' online sports betting market will continue to thrive.  This means millions of Canadians that want to bet online will need to continue to watch out for the scams and bad operators as they look to play at reputable 'grey market' betting sites.

 

FanDuel gains Virginia market access with Washington Commanders deal - January 27, 2021

America's number one sportsbook brand by market share, FanDuel achieves market access deal in Virginia in partnership with the Washington Football Team.

 

PointsBet announces partnership with Detroit Redwings - January 13, 2021

In advance of the Michigan online sports wagering and casino market launch, Australia's PointsBet has partnered with the NHL's Detroit Redwings.  The marketing agreement is the second between PointsBet and an Ilitch-owned Michigan team.

 

Single-event sports betting news update Nov 26, 2020

For many reasons, the Canadian Federal Government will be tabling legislation to make single-event sports betting legal.  This means that your options for sports betting within each province may be about to change for the better with far more choice from local and legal providers.

Take the example of Score Media & Gaming, which is a Canadian public company located in Toronto and is traded on the TSX under the symbol SCR.  TheScore divested its traditional media channels but kept a focus on mobile with an eye toward a future in sports betting through its industry-leading sports news and information app.

TheScore is already a licensed sportsbook provider in New Jersey, Indiana and Colorado with their “theScore |  Bet” mobile app.  As illustrated by their CEO on Twitter, theScore will likely look to serve the Canadian provinces as the new regulatory frameworks for sports betting providers take shape in 2021.

 

History of single-event sports betting legalization attempts in Canada

Several attempts have been made within Canada to change the legal situation with regard to single-event sports betting.  The last attempt of this was in 2015 when bill C-290 failed to pass through the Senate with an election looming.  Through 2020, this failure to allow for legal single-event betting has ensured a huge leakage of money toward the black market and off-shore betting options for Canadians.  

However, in 2018 there was a sea-change afoot.  The source of this change came when the US Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned sports betting.  The figurative door was opened for individual US states to legalize, regulate and tax sports betting for its citizens.  To date, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and Tennessee all have legal online sports betting options available.

As these states have legalized online and mobile sports betting providers and other states look to do the same, North American sports leagues like the National Football League that was once vehemently against sports betting, is now onside.  The leagues were made partners in the betting and gaming industry through league and team marketing partnerships.  

As Canada’s largest trading partner and most important ally, the US with these two important changes has shown Canada a way forward to make changes to how it regulates sports betting and gaming.  Conservative Senators and Members of Parliament that were once against the legalization of this vice, can now be shown the example of their nearest and dearest neighbour to the south.  

No longer can conservative viewpoints found in 2015 be thought of as reasonable, such as that of Senator Vern White.  In 2015, as the Senate failed to pass Bill C-290 the Conservative Senator White, was quoted by the CBC about his opposition to the Bill: "If we followed the line of thinking of (MP) Brian Masse (thinking that sports betting is a windfall for organized crime), we would legalize cocaine and heroin, too.  Organized crime is doing it, so why don't we do it too?"

These days are likely over, even for Canadian conservatives, thanks to the changes in the US. Canada now has no excuse for lagging behind every other developed nation that has regulated and taxed sports betting and gaming in order to create a vast stream of income for the public good, while simultaneously working to increase the safety of available gaming platforms so that people with problem gambling issues can be both helped and protected.  

As such, we expect many developments over the coming months and SNBET expects to bring you the most significant developments on this our page for single-event sports betting news.

SNBET posts its latest sports betting & gaming news & commentary on Twitter