CFL Labor Deal Means Sunnier Days for Ontario Sports Betting, Sportsbooks Like BetRegal

CFL Labor Deal Means Sunnier Days for Ontario Sports Betting, Sportsbooks Like BetRegal
By Mark Keast

You had to know they were sweating a bit at BetRegal as the CFL labor dispute dragged on.

The CFL and its players’ union announced a tentative seven-year deal on a new labor contract last week, ending just the second strike in the long history of the league (there was a strike in 1974). The deal still needs to be ratified.

Training camps are starting right away. Sportsbook operators in the newly regulated Ontario sports betting space are breathing a sigh of relief after the deal was announced. The 21-week season starts June 9 with the Montreal Alouettes playing the Calgary Stampeders and runs through the end of October.

BetRegal, though, is in a different boat when it comes to the CFL. It will be licensed to operate in Ontario soon, likely before the start of the CFL regular season. The sportsbook operator was one of the first out of the gate on the sponsorship front in Ontario, inking a deal last summer with the CFL, making it the Official Sport Gaming Partner of the league.

The sportsbook was front and center at last fall’s Grey Cup Week in Hamilton, introducing betting concepts and terminology to people there looking to learn more.

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BetRegal, Others Relieved with Agreement

“BetRegal was relieved to hear that the CFL and the players had come to an agreement to begin the 2022 season on time,” said Aly Lalani, head of marketing for BetRegal. “Before anything else, we at BetRegal are fans of the CFL and we can’t wait to get the season started. As quality partners should, the CFL kept us apprised of the situation with frequent updates of info that could be shared. We were reassured that as the league’s exclusive sports betting partner all of our exciting plans for the 2022 season are going to move ahead as scheduled. 

“Like the rest of our fellow Canadians, we can’t wait for three-down football to start."

"BetRegal will again be the market leader in terms of available betting options for the CFL. I’m personally looking at the CFL “Odds to Win the 109th Grey Cup” lines available, and I’m going to put a little action on the Bombers being able to three-peat this year.”

Being in the market with a venerable Canadian sports brand like the CFL gives BetRegal an advantage in the hyper-competitive sports betting market in Ontario, and a long strike this summer would have thrown a nasty curve into growth plans. The company is in deep with the league and wants to get in deeper.

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PointsBet Canada Has Redblacks Partnership

It’s similar with PointsBet Canada too, since it has a partnership with the Ottawa Redblacks, and have talked a lot about Canadian authenticity with regards to its  product and its commitment to the Canadian sports fan.

The PointsBet-Redblacks deal was announced in late March, just before the fully regulated market launched in Ontario.

“In line with the countless CFL fans in Ontario and beyond, the PointsBet Canada team is equally thrilled by the recent positive news from the CFL and CFLPA,” PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky said. “We're quite bullish on the potential regulated sports betting will have on driving even more excitement and engagement around the CFL.

“Ultimately, right now it's about entertaining the great CFL fans in Ontario, and alongside our terrific partners in Ottawa and Toronto, we have some big, and fun, plans for 2022 and beyond.”

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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.

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