Opening of a new online gambling market in Ontario

TORONTO — Ontario’s nascent sports betting industry is in full swing.

Single-match sports betting has been legal in Canada since last summer, but the industry didn’t open in Ontario until Monday.

And as of Friday, 25 operators were registered with iGaming Ontario.

Now Ontarians can wager on casino games, sporting events and other gaming activities through online websites and smartphone apps from operators registered to do business in the regulated market by the province.

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“Today is a great day for sports fans in Ontario,” said Scott Vanderwel, Managing Director of PointsBet Canada. “I would like to share how excited we are to see the province’s sports betting market officially open.

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“Just 50 seconds after 12:00 p.m. ET, PointsBet Canada became one of the first private sportsbooks to take a legal bet, and soon after accepted a $500 return bet from UNC against Kansas and Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning.”

And last month, PointsBet entered into a partnership with the Ottawa Redblacks of the CFL.

In August 2021, the CFL announced a multi-year partnership with BetRegal which made it the official online sports gaming partner of the league.

But the official launch in Ontario coincides with the NCAA men’s basketball game, which will see the University of North Carolina take on Kansas on Monday night.

And on Thursday, the Masters kicks off in Augusta, Georgia, not to mention the Leafs and Ottawa Senators will be in action.

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Operators gear up for Ontario’s online gambling market to open on Monday

Also officially launching on Monday was theScore Bet, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming, Inc., headquartered in Toronto.

“The launch (on Monday) is significant because it expands Penn National’s online gaming business into a jurisdiction that is expected to be one of the largest regulated markets in North America,” said Jay Snowden, president- CEO of Penn National. “We are proud to enter this market behind a trusted and authentic Canadian brand that resonates deeply with Ontarians.

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“From the beginning, the Levy family and theScore team have played a significant role in advocating for 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 am very encouraged by the opportunity ahead.

John Levy, theScore’s chief executive, agreed.

“(Monday) is momentous because we are finally able to participate in a regulated gambling market in our home country,” he said. “We commend the Ontario government for its leadership in creating and implementing a safe, user-friendly and commercial marketplace.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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