First Sportsbook Operators Receive Approval for Ontario Sports Betting

First Sportsbook Operators Receive Approval for Ontario Sports Betting
By Mark Keast

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Rivalry Corp.'s announcement.

PointsBet Canada announced on Feb. 3 that it was among the first sportsbooks to be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission for Ontario online sports betting.

“Since Day One, we have remained genuine to our promise of building a Canadian sportsbook, with Canadian employees, for the Canadian market,” Scott Vanderwel, chief executive officer of PointsBet Ontario, said in a news release. “Today’s approval of PointsBet Canada as a licensed sportsbook in Ontario effective April 4, 2022, is a momentous step in unveiling our authentically Canadian gaming experience to the province."

Then later that day, an announcement came down that theScore bet Ontario also received AGCO approval.

“We’re thrilled to be one of the first operators to receive an internet gaming operator certificate of registration from the AGCO as we prepare for Ontario’s new regulated market,” John Levy, CEO of theScore, said in a news release. “We’ve been and will continue to be at the forefront as regulated internet gaming is introduced in Ontario and are beyond excited to be able to bring theScore Bet to our home market on April 4. Finally, the countdown to launch has begun.”

On Feb. 4, Rivalry Corp., a sports betting and media company based in Toronto, announced that it has been approved by the ACCO for iGaming and sports betting.

“We are very pleased to be one of the first companies to be registered as an internet gaming operator in Ontario,” Steven Salz, co-founder and CEO of Rivalry, said in a news release. “As a proud Toronto-founded and based company, it’s a particular privilege to be able to finally offer our innovative product legally and responsibly in our backyard. I’m confident we will deliver a differentiated experience that will elevate what consumers think sports betting can be.”

More Announcements to Come

The announcements last week are the first of what should be a steady run of news regarding sportsbook licensing ahead of the April 4 launch date.

Chantal Cipriano, vice president for legal, compliance & people at PointsBet Canada, says Ontario will be an extension of what the company has successfully launched already in Australia and in the U.S. market.

“It demonstrates the confidence that regulators have in our ability to deliver an innovative, safe, and responsible experience to Ontario consumers. We look forward to applying our expertise … to help build a trusted, competitive, regulated iGaming market in Ontario, establishing an important foundation for our nation,” she said.

PointsBet Canada on Wednesday announced a partnership with Alpine Canada, the latest deal in Canada for the gaming company.



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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