- Gaming technology powerhouse Kambi has been licensed as a ‘Gaming Related Supplier’ by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
- Toronto based startup NorthStar Gaming’s sportsbook will be powered with Kambi technology in Ontario, along with several others.
- Ontario’s highly competitive mobile sports betting market is set to launch on April 4, 2022.
Gaming technology provider Kambi has boomed in the post-PASPA era, so you know that if there’s a new sports betting market set to launch that they’ll be involved. The soon-to-launch Ontario market is no exception–earlier today, Kambi announced that they’ve been licensed as a ‘Gaming Related Supplier’ by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). As their name suggests, the AGCO provides oversight for gaming in the province including lottery, charitable and casino gaming. They’re also responsible for horse racing, liquor sales and manufacturing and cannabis retailing.
Here’s the brief blurb announcing the licensing from a Kambi-provided press release:
Kambi Group plc has obtained regulatory approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), enabling the world’s trusted sports betting partner to launch with partners from day one of the Ontario online market opening.
Kambi received confirmation from the AGCO of its registration as a Gaming-Related Supplier effective from 4 April 2022, the date when regulated online single-event wagering launches in Canada’s most populous province.
The registration allows Kambi to provide its leading sportsbook technology and services to operator partners when the market launches next month – including its unparalleled ice hockey product and expansive Bet Builder capability.
Kristian Nylén, Kambi Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, had this comment:
“I am delighted that Kambi has become one of the first sportsbook providers to obtain registration from the AGCO.”
“This landmark achievement is a testament to Kambi’s expertise and exemplary track record in compliance, and we are excited to be in a position to deliver our market-leading sportsbook technology to our partners’ customers in Ontario from day one.”
It would been a major story had Kambi *not* been licensing and left a number of sportsbooks set to launch in Ontario on April 4 scrambling. Kambi provides technology to already licensed LeoVegas, Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) and Unibet. In addition, MaximBet is powered by Kambi technology and they’re targeting an Ontario launch as well.
Kambi was also chosen by what is likely the most interesting ‘startup’ in the Ontario ecosystem. In early March, Toronto based NorthStar Gaming announced that they would operate their sports betting and iGaming platforms under the brand name ‘NorthStar Bets’. Making their entry all the more intriguing–they share corporate DNA with the Toronto Star newspaper and have signed a deal with the paper’s parent company. The plan is for NorthStar to provide betting specific content to the Toronto Star website. In fact, the NorthStar interface is already up on the Toronto Star website at thestar.com/sports/sports-betting. Right now, it’s primarily very basic introductory content like ‘how to read betting odds’ and ‘how to bet on the NBA’. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of more advanced content they come up with.
Sarah Robertson, Kambi’s SVP Sales, had these thoughts about NorthStar Gaming:
“(NorthStar has) a really interesting background with The Toronto Star. And I think they’ve got a really strong team in place. So, it’s going to be a really interesting combination of a great, varied, well-positioned team and then a lot of marketing potential with the readership and viewership of The Toronto Star.”
Robertson also thinks that the marriage between media and sports betting will continue, and NorthStar’s partnership with the Toronto Star is just the latest iteration:
“We’re seeing it happen across North America more so than ever before … Obviously, (The Star has a) readership and viewership that are sports enthusiasts. So, it makes a lot of sense from building up a database. So, I think it will be really interesting to see what (NorthStar does) in the space.”
“We really think that the NorthStar group will be what we would call a local hero or a local standout in the market because they have this nice niche positioning.”
Expect much more out of Ontario between now and April 4. I’m planning to be in Toronto within the next couple of months to check out the situation firsthand.