There have been a lot of stories lately on Ontario sports betting around the traditional “Big 4” sports — NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.
But there’s no doubt a big differentiator in a market as uniquely multi-cultural and diverse as Ontario will come down to an operator’s ability to tap into the intense interest and passions in sports beyond the Big 4, as well as novelty betting, like on last night’s Oscars, for example.
Kindred Group Canada says it's all over this, it seems, with the Monday announcement it has obtained an iGaming license for its flagship brand Unibet Canada to run sports betting and Ontario online casino products as of April 4.
Amanda Brewer, country manager of Canada for the Kindred Group, said “the fact that Ontario is so multicultural means that we have a chance to branch out beyond the traditional Big 4 sports.”
“If our customers are accustomed to watching or participating in curling, soccer, tennis, and cricket, to name a few, it would be great if they could add an extra level to their entertainment by finding offers for them on their favorite teams," Brewer said. “There will be no shortage of sports for fans to wager on when the market opens on April 4.
“While it’s no surprise that soccer is popular in Ontario, we know that Canada as a whole remains hockey country and betting on football and basketball is in high demand.”
Unibet Growing in North America
Ontario marks the seventh license in North America where Kindred is represented by Unibet.
There are now 16 operators regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Operators that 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. Brewer said the operator agreement will be finalized for Kindred sometime this week.
Unibet Apps Available April 4
The Unibet Canada Online Casino and Sportsbook products will be available via on.unibet.ca, and the mobile apps will be available in Apple Store and Google Play Store after the April 4 launch.
Brewer added that it’s too soon to share any details about how aggressive Kindred will participate in marketing and advertising in Ontario. “Coming Soon” Wayne Gretzky/BetMGM ads started popping up on sports television over the weekend, as well as new ad campaigns from operators like theScore Bet.
“We are excited to be in the market on launch day, and look forward to building a long-term relationship,” Brewer said. “So we’re here for the marathon and not the sprint.”