At the tail end of a recent interview with Canadian Gaming Association president and CEO Paul Burns, the subject of the upcoming Canadian Gaming Summit, the annual conference and trade show for land-based and iGaming professionals, came up.
This year’s event, scheduled for June 7-9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, will understandably have a slightly different vibe with the Ontario sports betting market about to open up in a big way.
We understand Burns wanting to hold off on telling us about the news earlier in the week — that international event and media company SBC has agreed to acquire the CGS from current owners CGA and MediaEdge Communications.
The acquisition will be completed after this year’s event.
“It’s been two years since the industry has gathered face to face,” Burns said Monday. “There’s a lot of excitement about being able to re-connect with people. So much has changed, on the legal and operating side of single sports betting and the online gaming marketplace in Ontario. We are moving beyond the restrictive public health measures that have punished the land-based casino business for the past two years. We can’t forget that sector is just getting back on its feet.
”We want to talk about what’s new and exciting moving forward, but some of the lessons learned from the past couple of years for our industry.”
“There will be some great sessions and great speakers coming, a great opportunity for people to network and re-connect, and get out from behind the Zoom screens.”
Launch to be Celebrated
As part of the deal, SBC will work with MediaEdge and the CGA to bring even more content and commercial opportunities to this June’s event. All three organizations will be hosting a Special Gaming Industry Reception on April 4 to celebrate the launch of Ontario’s open, competitive regulated sports-betting market.
After the acquisition is finalized, CGA will be an official and strategic partner of the summit.
“This is a wonderful acquisition for SBC as it fits perfectly with our growing portfolio of market-leading events and media properties in the US and Latin America,” Rasmus Sojmark, founder & CEO of SBC, said in a statement. “We are delighted to bring the Canadian Gaming Summit into the SBC family, as the opening of single event betting is likely to be transformational for an already vibrant Canadian gambling sector and enables us to build on what is already a great conference.”
Ontario iGaming Registration List Grows
Add Royal Panda, FanDuel and Bet365 to the growing list of Internet Gaming Operators approved by the AGCO. That brings the total to 14.
The Ontario iGaming market is set to kick off April 4.
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.
In early February, the first sportsbook operators were approved for Ontario sports betting, including PointsBet Ontario, theScore and Rivalry.