New internet gambling market opens in Ontario

TORONTO — Ontario’s fledgling sports-betting industry is now a full go.

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

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

Now, people in Ontario can bet on casino games, sporting events and other gambling activities through online websites and smartphone apps from operators registered to run activities in the provincially regulated market.

Read more: Here’s what will change when Ontario’s new internet gambling market opens April 4

“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.

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“Just 50 seconds after 12:00am ET, 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.”

And last month, PointsBet reached a partnership with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

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

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

And on Thursday, The Masters will tee off in Augusta, Ga., not to mention both to the Leafs and Ottawa Senators being in action.

Read more: Operators prepare for Ontario’s online gambling market to open on Monday

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

“(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,” said Jay Snowden, president/CEO of Penn National. “We’re proud to enter this market behind a trusted and authentic Canadian brand that resonates deeply with Ontarians.

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“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.”

John Levy, the chief executive officer of theScore, agreed.

“(Monday) is momentous as we finally are able to participate in a regulated gaming market in our home country,” he said. “We applaud the Ontario government for its leadership in creating and implementing a safe, consumer-friendly and commercially minded market.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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