BetRegal Announces Multi-Year Ontario Sports Betting Partnership with Hamilton Tiger-Cats

BetRegal Announces Multi-Year Ontario Sports Betting Partnership with Hamilton Tiger-Cats
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Last week there was the announcement BetRegal and the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers had come together on a multi-year partnership.

Makes sense then that on the eve of a new season the sportsbook operator announces a similar deal with the team that took on the Bombers in last fall’s Grey Cup.

BetRegal’s multi-year partnership, announced today, with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats builds on their CFL footprint. BetRegal already has the CFL on board, having announced a multi-year sponsorship with the league last August.

The sportsbook had a big presence at the Grey Cup in Hamilton last fall. Expect that presence to grow in Regina this fall for the 2022 Grey Cup Festival.

 
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Betting Deals Bring in Money to CFL

For the individual CFL clubs, it’s a much-needed revenue source. Like with the Bombers deal, while we can’t confirm the actual number, there are sponsor dollars flowing to the Ticats, plus there’s a revenue share component.

For Ontario sports betting operators like BetRegal, a deal like this is a natural partnership since they’re really playing up their Canadian roots as they continue to work through their licensing with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The Ticats want three partners each at different tier and investment levels, which makes the deal different from the Bombers deals, says BetRegal head of marketing Aly Lalani.

The first tier, where BetRegal is, has “full run of the place”, in terms of activation space, branding on the field, using Ticats radio and the organization’s brand ambassadors.

Winnipeg has a multi-operator system as well, but the operators are pretty much equal. Various assets are split up — one has higher level, LED signs and jersey patches, where BetRegal is more active and integrated, including an area outside Gate 4 where they can engage fans coming into the stadium, all in a fun atmosphere (a DJ, for example).

The Ticats deal is a fully involved activation, including taking a section of Tim Hortons Field and turning it into a BetRegal space or lounge area with signage around the whole section and on the seats to make it a purple-coloured “royal box.”

 
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BetRegal Waiting on Ontario License

BetRegal isn’t licensed yet, so for now its space at Tim Hortons Field is a play-for-free area. But after the go-live date they can push people to the betting site. A sports betting manager will be there to talk about betting. No terminals there, but people will be encouraged to play on their phones.

Regulated sports betting and iGaming went live in Ontario on April 4.

“Everybody wants to be the bookie,” Lalani said. “So with the Ticats and their audience, we will be introducing ‘Be the Bookmaker.’ Because we own our software, and can do stuff like this, where a user comes up with a prop. If I get that prop by Tuesday, by Wednesday it will be on the site. We will invite Ticats fans to submit their prop on social, whatever they want, as random or creative as they want. We will pick one every week, we will price it up, and we will put it on the site and anyone can wager on it. And that person will wear the BetRegal crown for the week. How sexy is that? You and your buddies can go and bet your line.” 

Lalani said Ticats marketing people came up with the concept — a text message that Lalani received at his home late on a weeknight. He lauded these types of partnerships, which are more strategic and authentic. This is an example of where the rubber will hit the road in terms of partnerships with sports organizations in an Ontario market where there could potentially be 70+ players, with ad campaigns seemingly everywhere.

Lalani said they are committed to using their strengths — in particular their own software, offering more markets and being creative.

“Really innovative, versus some of the other ones, which are more top of the funnel, rinkboards, advertising,” he added. “We’re all aligned on the idea of ‘soft sell.’”

The Ticats’ first home game is against the Calgary Stampeders on June 18. In what should be a very competitive East Division, oddsmakers see Hamilton as the most likely team to represent the East in the 2022 Grey Cup.

 
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Mark Keast

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.