- theScore Bet has been named the Official Gaming Partner of Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open.
- Penn National Gaming recently announced their plans to acquire theScore
- The sports betting regulations in Canada were recently revised to facilitate single game betting.
Over the past two years the US sports betting industry has grown dramatically and with it we’ve seen countless ancillary deals such as partnerships, mergers, buyouts, etc. Up in Canada, it’s ‘deja vu all over again’. Single event sports betting is coming to Canada and with it we’re seeing the same type of ancillary activity experienced in the United States. The Canadian Football League (CFL) has announced that BetRegal is their ‘Official Sports Betting Partner’. That was followed almost immediately by BetRegal and the PGA of Canada entering into a sponsorship agreement.
Another partnership deal in the nascent Canadian sports betting industry dropped today–Toronto based media company turned sportsbook theScore Bet has inked a multiyear agreement with Golf Canada to become its Official Gaming Partner. The agreement makes theScore Bet the first ever gaming partner for Golf Canada and includes their top level National Open Golf Championships – the CP Women’s Open and the RBC Canadian Open. Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada representing 264,000 golfers and 1,400 member clubs across the country.
Last month, the Canadian senate passed Bill C-218, legalizing single-game sports betting in Canada. Previously, Canadian provinces were limited to regulating parlay style betting offered through provincial lotteries. It’s been a long road to this point and the specifics of the Canadian sports betting ecosystem are still coming together. Before long, however, Canada will have a competitive and vibrant sports betting market that if done right will rival the best US jurisdictions like Colorado or New Jersey. On the other hand, done in correctly it’ll rival the worst US jurisdictions like Oregon and Tennessee.
So far there have been mixed signals. The situation looks good in Ontario which is expected to set up a competitive marketplace with private sportsbook operators. In other provinces, the Magic-8 ball is reading ‘Reply hazy try again’. Unfortunately, there will no doubt be some provinces that go with the ‘lottery run monopoly’ scam that we’ve seen too often in the United States. This will likely play out like it has in the ‘Lower 48’–the jurisdictions with a legit gaming commission and competitive market will get a ton of business and with it major revenue for the state (or province) plus serious ancillary economic benefits like jobs, investment and the other upsides that governments claim that they want to attract. Those that don’t will underachieve and eventually will have to go ‘back to the drawing board’ and do it right.
The involvement of companies like theScore and BetRegal should help move the needle toward competitive markets. Partnerships like this demonstrate the potential positive economic spillover that sports betting can bring as does strong statements like theScore’s plan to open a posh 80,000 foot office at the Toronto Waterfront Innovation Centre. The fact that theScore is being acquired by US betting behemoth Penn National Gaming doesn’t hurt either.
The partnership, which begins in 2022, provides theScore Bet with access to activate across Golf Canada’s high-profile events and large digital footprint. As an exclusive gaming partner of the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open, theScore Bet will be able to engage fans through a variety of on-site activations, including creating members club experiences for theScore Bet users, as well as digital activations through both tournaments and Golf Canada’s channels.
Golf Canada’s Chief Commercial Officer, John Sibley, had this to say about the partnership with theScore Bet:
“We are thrilled to welcome theScore Bet as Golf Canada’s first Official Gaming Partner. theScore brand is already synonymous with sports coverage in Canada and we’re enthusiastic about the opportunity to team up to help build awareness for theScore Bet. Through Golf Canada’s entertainment properties and channels, theScore Bet will have direct access to engage with our large membership of devout Canadian sports fans.”
Aubrey Levy, Senior Vice President of Content and Marketing, theScore, is getting to be one of the best in the business at press release quotes:
“We are proud to be Golf Canada’s first ever gaming partner and align theScore Bet with their organization and Canada’s marquee professional men’s and women’s golf events. This partnership provides us with highly engaging access points to introduce theScore Bet to a broad and endemic audience of golf fans. With the RBC Canadian Open taking place in Ontario for all three years and the CP Women’s Open in the province for at least the coming year, it provides us an amazing foothold to interact with Canada’s passionate golf community around two of the most popular golf events in the country.”
In 2021, theScore signed on as an official gaming operator of the PGA Tour in the US and Canada. The 2022 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 6-12 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto with nearby Islington Golf Club hosting the championship’s practice facility. The 2022 CP Women’s Open takes place August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Ottawa.