Grey Cup Festival Allows BetRegal To Get Jump Before Ontario Sports Betting Apps Launch

Grey Cup Festival Allows BetRegal To Get Jump Before Ontario Sports Betting Apps Launch
By Mark Keast

Still no word on when Ontario sports betting apps will go live, but that isn’t stopping BetRegal from introducing betting concepts and terminology to those looking to learn more.

Next week, the festival for the 108th Grey Cup gets going in this year’s host city — Hamilton — and while having the hometown Tiger Cats in the big game Dec. 12 would be the ideal (they play in the Eastern Division Final against the Argonauts this Sunday in Toronto), that isn’t stopping organizers there from planning a week-long celebration of Canadian football.

Awards ceremonies, game-day events, parties (many free of charge), luncheons and a “Spirit of Edmonton” breakfast — it all starts with the arrival ceremony for the Grey Cup trophy at Bayfront Park on Dec. 7 at 11 a.m.

Official Gaming Partner of CFL

BetRegal, the Official Sport Gaming Partner of the CFL, will be front and center during the entire week, says Ali Lalani, BetRegal’s head of marketing. When the market launches there will be a BetRegal online sportsbook and BetRegal Ontario online casino.

“Education is a big component for us in terms of marketing strategy and brand development,” he told this week.

As Lalani has said in the past, getting in early with a venerable brand like the CFL gives the company an advantage in what will be a hyper-competitive Ontario online sports betting market.

There’s a real strategy with all our partnerships, including the CFL. At this time we are very clearly trying to define ourselves as a brand, and not necessarily as a product.

Not so much marketing going at immediate gratification, making bets on the fly — which will happen when regulation is in play — but more integrating with the community at this point. The lines are relatively homogenous across multiple sportbooks, Lalani added, so BetRegal wants to differentiate how “loud and proud” it is about Canadiana and its Canadian roots. The second part of the strategy is education, especially for the average recreational customer.

Grey Cup Week Events

That explains the gaming company’s activation program for next week, led by these components:

Playoff Prop Challenge

“Everybody loves props so we decided to create a Playoff Prop Challenge for each playoff game including the Grey Cup to be activated at our activation space at each stadium,” he says. There are 11 props in the challenge specific to each game by QR code, everything from coin toss to over/under toal passing yards for a quarterback to “Will the team that scores first win the game?”

Anyone who gets all the props correct is given season tickets to their home market next year.

“It generated quite a bit of interest on the ground so far, even in the cold conditions last weekend in Hamilton and Regina,” Lalani said.

The BetRegal Lounge

The company has taken over the 4th floor premium club area of Tim Hortons Field for Grey Cup weekend, turning that area into a BetRegal lounge, fully branded. The main feature of the lounge is their “play for free” sportsbook experience, with a nine-screen video wall showing a multitude of sports, eight custom-branded recliners and four full-service betting terminals.

“We will be giving people branded VIP player cards that each contain an amount of BR Points, and users can go to the terminals and place wagers on any event in the world (all play for free of course) including ones they can watch their live in our lounge (and place live wagers),” he said. “We want to showcase what the BetRegal lounge retail experience will look like in the near future (especially as all of the team owners will be in attendance).”

CFL Premium Experiences by BetRegal

Taking over ownership of a program where 75-100 high net worth individuals pay for the “ultimate Grey Cup weekend,” which includes meeting league commissioner Randy Ambrosie and some programming around BetRegal Legends Matt Dunigan and Damon Allen. Dunigan and Allen will be giving their opinions on the props in the playoff prop challenge.

Grey Cup Social Activation Zone

The CFL has created a special tailgating-like zone with huge screens to see the game and hang out, and BetRegal will have a big footprint there, encouraging people to take part in the playoff prop challenge, giving away branded toques, doing autograph sessions with Dunigan and Allen, even (weather permitting) placing one of the betting terminals down there to showcase the retail betting experience.

Grey Cup Gameday in the BetRegal Lounge

“Up to 1,200 people will have access to the BetRegal Lounge during gameday (before the game and during),” Lalani said. “The BetRegal retail sportsbook presence is strategically positioned beside the commissioners lounge so we anticipate speaking to a lot of influential people about the potential of our retail offering.”

Again, this is another example of private operators diving in deep with sports sponsorships, lining up new customers so they hit the ground running after the province’s go-live date, which is now expected to be in the first quarter of 2022.



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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