Which of the private sportsbooks will be up and running this Monday, when the competitive Ontario sports betting and iGaming markets finally open, and what companies will be doing more of a slower, soft launch?
It depends on who you talk with. Monday has been the scheduled launch day of the regulated sports betting and iGaming markets in Ontario for months.
PointsBet Canada spokesman Patrick Eichner told OntarioBets.com that it will be live and operating Monday, taking money bets on events like the NCAA National Championship basketball game scheduled that night, as well as the Jays home opener April 8 against the Texas Rangers, the Leafs and Raptors playoff pushes and the World Men’s Curling Championship, among other events.
“We are very excited about the launch,” Eichner said. “We were one of the very first authorized by the AGCO, we are proud of the steps we have taken, and our strategy. We are fully prepared for an April 4 launch. It’s a phenomenal time for the industry to finally open up, with a lot of sports happening that first week.”
FanDuel Timing Uncertain
FanDuel Group issued a news release Thursday saying it’s coming to Ontario, but FanDuel Ontario’s exact launch date is to be determined. A spokesperson told OntarioBets.com that FanDuel’s sportsbook and casino apps would be live in market in April.
The gaming company successfully registered with the AGCO, according to the AGCO website. 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.
Which Operators Have Approval?
Here are the internet gaming operators approved — as of April 1 — to launch in Ontario no earlier than April 4, according to the AGCO website:
- BetMGM Ontario
- FanDuel Ontario
- Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.
- PointsBet Ontario
- Royal Panda
- theScore Bet
- Dream Vegas
- Gate 777
- Hello Casino
- Jackpot Village
- Unibet Ontario
Notably not on the updated list is DraftKings, although it has indicated in the past that it will enter the Ontario market.
Unibet to Soft Launch
Kindred Group, with its flagship brand Unibet Ontario, running sports betting and iGaming products, will be live Monday.
“However the timing is not 100 percent certain,” said Amanda Brewer, country manager of Canada for Kindred Group. “It will be a soft launch, as we are building our presence over the month to ensure we create a long-term and sustainable partnership with our customers in Ontario. Details will be shared as they are made public.”
theScore Bet is Ready
Over at theScore Bet Ontario, single-game sports betting will be live on its platform Monday. A spokesman says the company will be sharing everything on social media in terms of official timing.
TheScore bet has a platform developed in Toronto, which has been live in U.S. markets over the past two years. So a company that has sports broadcasting roots in Canada going back decades has had a running jump at launching a legal sportsbetting platform for some time now.
Stay tuned here, we’ll keep you apprised as the market sorts itself out.