Did Messi and Argentina Dent Ontario Sportsbooks in World Cup Win?

Did Messi and Argentina Dent Ontario Sportsbooks in World Cup Win?
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The dust is still settling after Sunday’s breathless World Cup Final, with Argentina edging France in a shootout (4-2), following a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes.

Betting results from Ontario sportsbooks are coming in as well, and it was truly an extraordinary Sunday thanks to soccer’s showcase event.

According to Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation stats for Proline+, Lionel Messi took a ridiculous 69% of the money in the Anytime Scorer Market (France’s Kylian Mbappe took 14% while the remaining 21 players split the other 17%). And 52% of bettors predicted Argentina to win the World Cup Final, while 86% of bettors took the Over of 2.5 goals for Sunday’s final in Qatar.

Of course, Messi scored twice, Mbappe had all three of France’s goals and the over tickets cashed even before the 30 minutes of extra time.

Most popular live market was “To Lift Trophy” (Outright Winner Market, no draw) – 65% of bets were on Argentina.

World Cup money makers at DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook were: Messi Anytime Goalscorer, the No. 1 prop at +150, followed by Mbappe Anytime Goalscorer at +185, then Messi First Goalscorer at +400 and Mbappe to Score 2 Or More Goals at +1300.

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NHL Agrees to Deal With BET99

Canada’s BET99 is the latest company to ink a deal with the NHL, it was announced Tuesday.

BET99 will be partnering with the NHL in a new Free-to-Play game called “NHL PrePlay” where, during each game of the season, fans will be provided a set of predictive outcome-based questions. 

For example, “Who will win tonight’s game?”, “Who will the top point getter?”and questions like “Which of these players will have the hardest shot” – using NHL Edge (puck and player tracking) data – will be offered to fans. Players will be awarded points based on correct answers. The top point recipient for the season will be awarded $100,000 Canadian.

There will be other prizes as well, such as NHL gift cards and ticket giveaways. BET99 will also get broadcast exposure for its various brands through the NHL’s new Digitally Enhanced Dashboards.

The product joins a market where the NHL is hugely popular at Ontario sports betting apps

“NHL PrePlay will amplify fan engagement and excitement around NHL games, especially the prizes, which include access to once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” BET99 CEO Jared Beber said. “Designed to support our focus on education within the gaming space, the game offers opportunities for players to explore the space and become more knowledgeable without making real-money wagers. 

“Not only is the NHL PrePlay program innovative and a great access point for new and potential bettors, but the educational aspect also fits well with our focus on responsible gaming. We’ll also leverage our partnership with NHL star Auston Matthews, taking this agreement to the next level.”

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Management Shuffle At Great Canadian Entertainment

There are more changes at Great Canadian Entertainment, as the company prepares for a robust 2023.

The company announced that its current executive vice president of operations in the Greater Toronto Area, Ron Urquhart, has been promoted to chief operating officer. Also, Gavin Whiteley has been appointed as the company’s chief marketing officer. 

In November, the company appointed Matthew Anfinson to CEO. Anfinson had been Great Canadian’s chief operating officer.

In November, Great Canadian announced the launch of in-person sports betting across 10 of its Ontario casino destinations. That adds variety to a market which includes Ontario casino sites. They’ve also recently launched a rewards program. The company is about to fully launch Pickering Casino Resort (the gaming floor is currently open, but the 275-room hotel, 2,500-person entertainment venue, and additional food and beverage amenities, will be opening in the coming weeks).

An expanded Casino Woodbine will open in 2023 (with a new gaming floor, 400-room hotel, and 5,000-person entertainment venue). Once complete, Great Canadian and their partners will have invested close to $2 billion in capital in the province.

Great Canadian operates 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality destinations in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Online Ontario gambling apps as well as mobile sports betting launched in April.

“We are thrilled to be able to announce both of these appointments as we enter 2023,” says Chuck Keeling, executive vice president, stakeholder engagement, community and social responsibility, Great Canadian Entertainment. “Ron is a seasoned operator who intimately understands the Canadian operating environment, and Gavin brings to GCE an important and unique strategic perspective from his senior experience at Caesars Entertainment and Cirque du Soleil, particularly as it relates to the continued development of our Great Canadian Rewards program.”

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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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