DraftKings Nearing Ontario Sports Betting Launch After AGCO License Approval

DraftKings Nearing Ontario Sports Betting Launch After AGCO License Approval
By Mark Keast

DraftKings is one step closer to launching in the Ontario sports betting market. The company recently pointed to the second quarter for going live in Ontario.

The sports gaming operator based in Boston appeared on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario registered internet gaming operators list Monday morning. Operators who have successfully registered with the AGCO must also execute an operator agreement with iGaming Ontario before they can legally operate in the province.

iGaming Ontario was established by the province in 2021 to conduct and manage internet gaming in the province when provided through private gaming operators.

Just over a week ago, during an earnings call, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins and CFO Jason Park suggested the company could launch in Ontario in May. 

“We expect to go live in Ontario in the near future pending licensing and regulatory approval,” Robins said during the call. “Ontario represents about 40 percent of Canada’s population, and Ontario would be the fifth largest U.S. state by population if it were in the U.S. 

“However, due to the presence of grey market operators, many of which have been present in Ontario for several years, we do not believe the timing of our launch will have any impact on the share we are able to achieve in that province.”

Said Park during the earnings call: “In Q2 we expect that the GNOG [Golden Nugget Online Gaming] business combined with our launch in Ontario would contribute between $20-25 million in revenue and negative $35-45 million in adjusted EBITDA assuming Ontario launches in May.”

Like rival FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario, DraftKings will cease its Daily Fantasy Sports operations in the province. The law requires DFS players be within the province. That restricts the pool of eligible DFS players, making it difficult to offer it in the province.

 
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Play Fallsview Also on AGCO List

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s Play Fallsview app also appeared on the AGCO list  Monday morning with DraftKings. Mohegan recently announced a deal with Kambi to provide its online mobile sportsbook to the Fallsview brand.

Fallsview Casino is the largest gaming resort facility in Canada. Kambi also supplies Kindred Group, LeoVegas, Penn National Gaming and Rush Street Interactive with sports betting services.

 
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One More Step to Launch

The AGCO has now given out 36 internet gaming operator licenses. There are currently 22 websites belonging to 14 operators live in the province, according to iGaming Ontario’s website. NorthStar Bets, the platform for Ontario-based NorthStar Gaming, was the most recent sportsbook to launch in the province, going live on May 11.

NorthStar Bets went live roughly a month after receiving approval from AGCO and executing a signed operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.

BetRegal is another major operator expected to soon be launching in Ontario, likely in time for the start of the CFL season June 9 (unless the start of the season is impacted by the current labour strife with CFL players). 

 
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Contributors

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.