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theScore Bet Sportsbook Opens For Pre-Registration In Ontario

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • theScore Bet has announced that they are accepting ‘pre-registration’ for Ontario players
  • theScore Bet has received registration as an Internet gaming operator from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
  • theScore Bet will officially launch their betting platform in Ontario when ‘free market’ sports betting goes live on April 4, 2022.

We’re just over a week away from the launch of Ontario’s ‘best in class’ mobile sports betting market and there should be plenty of activity leading up to it. Yesterday, we reported on PointsBet Canada’s partnership with the CFL Ottawa REDBLACKS and you can expect more from them within the next couple of weeks. Another sportsbook that has potential to be a force in the Ontario market is theScore Bet. They’ve announced that their Ontario app is now available for download, and that they’re accepting ‘pre-registration’ from players.

What this means exactly is unclear, though it is a good opportunity for theScore to get some press coverage in the run up to April 4. Ontario players can head to a dedicated URL (https://thescore.bet/ontario) and download the app for Apple’s iOS. Android is not currently available but theScore insists that it’s ‘coming soon’. Elsewhere on the site, they maintain that ‘wagering will be live on iOS and Android’ on April 4 so they better get that Android app pushed out. The Ontario facing site suggests that players ‘complete pre-registration’ before April 4, 2022. It isn’t clear if they’re not accepting deposits at this time, or maybe they can’t *say* that they are under Ontario’s advertising guidelines. Once pre-registration is complete, players will receive $50 in free bets and a comp t-shirt.

theScore Bet is one of several companies that have planned a ‘launch party’ to commemorate the event. theScore’s festivities will be at Rendezviews at 229 Richmond Street W in Toronto on April 2,3 and 4. You’ve got to be over the age of 19 and space is limited.

The ‘home opener’ verbiage is a reference to the company’s legit roots in Toronto. Several other sportsbooks are planning to emphasize their connection to Canada in their marketing, most notably PointsBet and Toronto Based NorthStar Bets. I’m not sure how significant establishing an identity as a ‘true Canadian sportsbook’ will be to their success. Then again, PointsBet ran a similar playbook when they launched in Colorado and if nothing else they got a lot of mileage out of it in terms of media coverage.

Despite the fact that they’re now owned by a huge US based gaming corporation–Penn National–theScore Bet might have the most legitimate claim to deep Canadian roots of any company. theScore launched their first sports media app in 2005–it quickly became a favorite among serious sports bettors and ‘squares’ alike. theScore announced plans to enter the newly open US sports betting market in 2018 and launched theScore Bet in 2019. theScore Bet launched first in New Jersey before adding Colorado in August 2020. In October 2021, Penn National acquired theScore and–for now at least–have left them alone to do what they do best. theScore is headquartered in Toronto and as they note on their website has ‘roots in the city that date back to 1997’.

John Levy, CEO of theScore, had these comments about his company’s betting platform launching in Ontario:

“Millions of Ontarians already know and love theScore, and we are excited to introduce them to theScore Bet as part of our pre-registration roll out. We are ready and eager for the legal market to open on April 4 and look forward to showcasing our fully integrated media and betting experience.”

theScore is also launching an Ontario focused marketing campaign including this video spot featuring comedian Susie Essman, theScore TV-alum Gerry Dee and actor Rex Lee. No disrespect to the principals here but were it me I would have cast a Canadian actor and comedian:

They’ve also got a :30 second spot featuring Susie Essman:

IMO, this is an entertaining concept for a campaign and could gain some traction with the public. I get kind of a ‘Flo the Progressive Insurance Lady’ vibe out of it. It’s definitely not as contrived and awkward as some of the other sportsbook marketing campaigns that we’ve seen.:

The marketing campaign and associated spots aren’t intended to drive signups, at least not directly. It’s great for building brand awareness and in a highly competitive market like Ontario that’s just as important. With sportsbooks subject to a number of advertising and marketing guidelines, you’ll likely see a more subtle approach in Ontario than you have in most US markets.

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