With preparations underway for the launch of Ontario sports betting apps and online casinos, GAN Limited has announced an agreement with a U.S.-based sportsbook to implement GAN’s platform in Ontario.
GAN said it will not disclose the name of the operator — calling it “tier-1” — until the operator is licensed. But GAN said in a news release it will support the launch of the sportsbook and Ontario online casino app in the first quarter of 2022, when the Ontario markets are expected to launch.
We are very excited to sign our first B2B client in the newly regulated Ontario iGaming market, which we have been working towards for some months.
“This B2C Operator in the U.S. is a leading operator and wishes to remain anonymous until they receive the requisite operating license in Ontario,” Dermont Smurfit, chief executive officer of GAN, said in the release. “Due to the nature of our Platform business operating as the client’s Platform (or ‘PAM’) we are required to make this announcement now due to the necessary operational industrial disclosures to be made by GAN (or already made by the client) to third party suppliers of payments, content and other regulatory technical services.”
GAN Limited said in the release it intends to apply for the appropriate gaming registration for Ontario online sports betting and casinos through subsidiary GAN Ontario, Inc. It said it is in the process of obtaining gaming registration.
Leading U.S. online sportsbooks include DraftKings, FanDuel Ontario , BetMGM and Caesars, among others. All should be big players in Canada. GAN has done business with FanDuel in the past, so it’s possible the two companies could renew their relationship, especially for online casino gaming in Ontario.
Other sportsbooks expected in the market include BetRegal, BetRivers and PointsBet. PointsBet Ontario has been particularly active as it builds its team there. It has announced a sports betting partnership with Curling Canada, among other business moves.
Ontario Should Be Major Market
Ontario has a population of more than 13 million, about the same as Pennsylvania, the fifth largest state. A report released in September by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and The Parleh Media Group estimated that the Ontario online gambling market could be worth more than $2.2 billion in gross revenue once it matures. The report suggested about $900 million in online sports wagering revenue and another $1.3 billion in online casino revenue.
It is also projected that more and 40 commercial sportsbooks/casinos will be live in the online gambling market by 2026. PROLINE+ from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is the only regulated sportsbook currently operating in Ontario.
“We expect the Ontario iGaming and online sports betting market to be an important source of future growth due to the province’s population size and we are thrilled to have a trusted and proven-at-scale tier-1 operator as a partner,” Smurfit said.
When Will Ontario Launch?
There are still key steps to be taken before the Ontario market launches. Tax rates have yet to be set and licenses still need to be approved. There had been a target date of early December to launch, but that has come and gone with the first quarter of 2022 being the new target.
Operators have indicated that they’d like to be live before the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, 2022. But that could be wishful thinking.
Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association president and chief executive officer, told OntarioBets.com in mid-November that “there is still a great deal of work to be done, but it will be early 2022. I think betting on the Super Bowl will be an option for people.”