- Rush Street Interactive (RSI) has receiving licensing for their BetRivers brand to offer casino games and sports betting in Ontario.
- RSI is already live in Ontario with a free-to-play social gaming platform.
- Ontario’s competitive online gaming market will launch on April 4, 2022.
We’re incredibly excited about the soon-to-launch competitive online gaming market in Ontario. Canada’s largest province has done a downright amazing job putting together their regulatory framework. In the process, they’ve avoided the mistakes and willful ignorance of many US jurisdictions while setting up one of the most intelligent ecosystems for sports betting we’ve seen anywhere.
Ontario’s demographics are well suited for massive success. With a population of just under 15 million (14, 826,276) they would be bigger than all but four US states (California, Texas, Florida, New York). New York (population 19,299,281) is the only one with sports betting and while they’ve reported glossy ‘top line’ revenue numbers the word on the street is that operators are losing hundreds of millions of USD due to the convoluted framework, necessity of sharing revenue with a politically juiced in legacy gaming operator, advertising and marketing in the most expensive media market in the US and–lest we forget–a downright absurd 51% tax rate.
With less than a month until Ontario ‘flips the switch’, licensing action is getting hot and heavy. We’ve got a ton to report over the next few days and there’s every reason to expect the news to continue for several more months–if not the rest of the year. Contrast this with the rapidly stagnating US sports betting market. For that reason alone, you can expect to see most major US facing books establish a presence ‘North of the Border’. Ontario could easily have more ‘outs’ on opening day of mobile betting (April 4, 2022) than any jurisdiction in the US.
Earlier today, a very familiar name to US sports betting enthusiasts received licensing to operate in Ontario. Chicago based Rush Street Interactive (RSI) announced that they have received their iGaming Operator Registration from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). RSI has a few remaining regulatory requirements to fulfill but they expect to launch their BetRivers branded online casino and sportsbook on April 4, 2022.
RSI has been very busy lately. They’re now live in thirteen US states ( Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arizona and Louisiana) and they’ve recently signed a lucrative deal in Mexico:
RSI is currently live in Ontario with its free-to-play social gaming platform, CASINO4FUN®, which is accessible from BetRivers.ca and is powered by the same proprietary technology behind RSI’s real-money platform. Upon the launch of the BetRivers real-money online casino and sportsbook in Ontario, Canada will join the United States and Colombia to become the third country where RSI operates real-money online gaming. The Company also has access to the Mexican online casino and sports betting markets through its partnership with media conglomerate Grupo Multimedios, where it expects to launch online casino and sports betting in the second quarter of 2022.
Richard Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of RSI, is excited about establishing his company’s brand in what is expected to be a very lucrative jurisdiction:
“The receipt of our registration in Ontario is an important milestone that demonstrates our commitment to operating only in legalized markets where we pay local taxes, and we are grateful for the trust of the AGCO. We are now one step closer to launching the BetRivers real-money online casino and sportsbook in Ontario and bringing our unique betting options, such as our innovative peer-to-peer slot tournaments or same game parlays, fast payouts, and award-winning customer service to the province’s millions of residents. Our free-to-play social gaming platform has experienced strong traction in Ontario to date, and we look forward to offering those players similarly entertaining and responsible experiences when our real-money offerings come April 4.”
Sportsbooks familiar to US bettors that are already licensed by AGCO: PointsBet, theScore Bet (now owned by Penn National), and 888 Holdings. Already live in Ontario is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) with their Proline+ platform. The lottery did get a several month ‘head start’ with their mobile betting platform but now they’ll have to compete in the marketplace for business. That’s something that should be done in the US where state lotteries are frequently given a monopoly to relegate sports betting to a ‘gimmick game’ just like Powerball or scratch cards.