As the Toronto Raptors await the start of the first round of the NBA Playoffs and the Toronto Blue Jays continue their four-game trip against their American League East rival the New York Yankees, the first week of Ontario sports betting is now in the books.
BetRivers.ca, one of the first sportsbooks to launch in the province, reported on Tuesday that the most popular sports event of the weekend was the Masters golf tournament, getting help from Canadian Corey Conners, and receiving 17% of all the weekend sports handle.
The Masters was won by American Scottie Scheffler by three strokes. The event was also helped by interest in Tiger Woods making his return to competitive golf and making the cut. He was on the leaderboard after round one at -1.
Conners, the top Canadian golfer, finished tied for sixth for the tournament at -3, his third straight Top 10 finish at the Masters. His odds for the event improved after a strong run in March, including a third-place finish in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play March 23-27.
The fully regulated and competitive Ontario sports betting market launched on April 4, the week of the Masters and the start of the MLB season. In addition, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors were fighting for playoff seeding the opening week of wagering.
There are high expectations for the online sports betting and iGaming markets in Ontario. The province's population would rank fifth in the U.S. if it was a state, right behind New York.
Raptors & Blue Jays Popular
The two teams most wagered on during the first week of action on its mobile sports betting app were the Raptors and the Blue Jays. Of no surprise, the Raptors and Blue Jays were the most popular teams to bet on in their respected leagues.
The other event with big action was the Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA matchup on Sunday night, receiving about 5% of the total handle.
Among bettors on the BetRivers.ca app, the NBA has been the most popular sport thus far, receiving 36% of all handle. The Masters was second at 17%, followed by MLB at 14%.
Slots Action Tops iGaming
In addition to online sports betting, Ontario online casinos are legal, giving gamblers a host of options on iGaming sites.
On BetRivers.ca online casino, slots, blackjack and table games ranked in the top three among the most popular game types in its online casino inventory during the first week.
Sites that have launched in Ontario include 888, bet365 Canada, BetMGM, Caesaars, Coolbet, FanDuel Canada, theScore Bet and PointsBet Canada.
Two operators expected to be major players in Ontario sports betting and iGaming haven’t launched yet — DraftKings and BetRegal. When reached last week about a possible launch date, a DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario spokesperson responded: “DraftKings is working closely with provincial regulators to bring our top-rated mobile sportsbook and casino products to Ontario as soon as possible.”