- Ontario has launched their regulated and competitive iGaming market.
- The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the oversight body for sports betting and iGaming in the province.
- Ontario’s sports betting market should be one of the most competitive–and most lucrative–ecosystems found anywhere in the world.
Ontario’s highly anticipated competitive iGaming market is open for business. Although there’s no definitive answer as to which sportsbook took the first bet, it could very likely be PointsBet which took a wager at approximately 50 seconds after midnight Eastern Time. All PointsBet is saying is that they were ‘one of the first private sportsbooks’ to take a wager under the new regulatory framework as they accepted a $500 two team parlay on UNC over Kansas in tonight’s NCAA Basketball Championship and the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the time of this writing, the Leafs are holding down a 4-2 lead over the Lightning heading into the third period with the NCAA basketball game just underway.
For all of the talk about how online casino games would dominate the market, it’s interesting to note that all of the opening day launches involved sports betting. The opening day betting roster looked like this:
- 888sport, 888casino, 888poker
- BetMGM (casino, sports, poker)
- Caesars Sportsbook
- theScore Bet
There are any number of other casinos and sportsbooks waiting in the wings. Already licensed but yet to launch:
WHITE HAT GAMING
NSUS LIMITED (WSOP)
Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada, had these comments on the official launch of Ontario’s sports wagering market:
“Today is a great day for Ontario sports fans! On behalf of the entire PointsBet Canada team, I’d like to share how thrilled we are to see the province’s sports wagering market officially open. 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.”
“Over the past few months, our team has been scaling and preparing for today. We have quadrupled in size since the beginning of the year and continue to build partnerships with the athletes, teams, and organizations that matter to Canadians and share great alignment with our core brand values. Whether you are a curling fan in Windsor or an Ottawa REDBLACKS season ticket holder in our nation’s capital, PointsBet Canada’s innovative, in-house technology platform will deliver you a fast, safe, dynamic, and tailored experience. We know our customers will appreciate our unmatched in-play betting, great odds, depth of offering, and local Canadian support teams ready to assist when they need it. We will offer an unrivalled experience to sports bettors and gaming enthusiasts.”
“The steps taken by Premier Ford, Attorney General Downey, Minister Bethlenfalvy, and iGaming Ontario are to be commended. The framework in Ontario allows for necessary competition, continued investment, job creation, and importantly helps fund a stronger Ontario through tax revenue. We look forward to doing our part at PointsBet Canada in proving the model works while inspiring other provinces to consider a legal regulated framework.”
“To Ontarians, welcome! To the rest of Canada, we hope to see you soon!”
Great job by the Ontario regulators who actually set up a competitive environment that encourages innovation and investment. Until further notice, they’ve got the best sports betting ecosystem in North America–if not the entire world.