Toronto Argonauts Benefit Ontario Sports Bettors With Grey Cup Victory

Toronto Argonauts Benefit Ontario Sports Bettors With Grey Cup Victory
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It’s no surprise, but betting numbers at Proline showed customers back hometown teams, despite the odds for the Grey Cup, where the Toronto Argonauts edged the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 24-23.

In Ontario sports betting, 60% of Proline bettors took the Argos +6.5 points on the spread while 52% had them to win the game outright. 

That’s according to betting stats provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. In the Grey Cup futures market, Winnipeg was the most popular choice, taking twice as many wagers as second place Toronto. On the total, just 25% of bets correctly predicted the score to stay under 47.5 points. One $2,000 spread wager earned one customer a $5,000 payout.

At FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario, there was heavy action on Argos props. One that went their way was Cam Phillips going way over his receiving total and being the game’s leading receiver. Bettors correctly had Argos running back Andrew Harris returning to play his former team and having a big game, as he went over his closing rushing total of 50.5 in the fourth quarter. Overall, it was a close split pre-game but tilted towards the Argos in-play.

And at BetRivers Sportsbook the Argos were backed by 79% of the handle and 39% of the tickets to win, while 53% of the handle and 51% of tickets were on the Argos to cover. In the U.S., only three NFL games were back by larger handles than they Grey Cup. The game was responsible for 17.4% of the football handle despite having the smallest ticket volume of any Sunday game.

Whatever the rules — CFL or NFL — football continues to be a boost for Ontario sports betting apps.

 
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BetRegal Sportsbook Makes Presence Known

BetRegal, the official sports betting partner of the CFL, was front and centre during Grey Cup week in Regina, as well as at the game. In Ontario, BetRegal is not yet licensed, continuing to work through that registration process with the AGCO. They are currently not serving customers in Ontario as they work through that.

So as BetRegal director of marketing Aly Lalani said, Grey Cup week was more about continuing to lay a foundation with sports bettors and potential sports bettors, providing education on sports betting, setting up various activation events involving former CFL stars like Damon Allen and Matt Dunigan, hosting a sports lounge, and further building their brand.

“You could see that people knew our brand,” he said. “That was re-assuring and reinforcing. For us it’s about integrating in various communities. If we were licensed, it would have been more about acquisition. But we’re not yet. It was a fun experience for people. I would say somewhere between 20-25% of the people that came in were asking questions about sports betting. They know who we are.”

The BetRegal Sportsbook has a two-year deal, plus an option, with the CFL. The operator’s focus turns now to Grey Cup week next year in Hamilton, where they’re part of the regulated market so they can take live bets on the game. BetRegal also has a sponsorship deal with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and another with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

 
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Teachers’ Pension Fund Sells Stake In Camelot UK Lotteries

Not a good week for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund as it wrote off a $95 million stake in the FTX crypto-currency collapse, so maybe this news will bring some smiles at OTPP Toronto offices. 

This week it was announced that Allwyn AG, a leading lottery operator in Europe, had agreed to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries Limited from OTPP. Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd is the current operator of the National Lottery under a license that runs until Jan. 31, 2024, and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Allwyn.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are proud to have been a strong supporter and partner of the National Lottery over the past 12 years,” said Nick Jansa, Executive Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Ontario Teachers’. “In that time, under Camelot’s stewardship The National Lottery has raised more than £20 billion (nearly $32 billion Canadian) for good causes and has supported thousands of organizations across the United Kingdom.

OTPP also owns Premier Lotteries Ireland.

 
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Big Changes At Great Canadian Entertainment

It was also announced this week that Anthony Rodio was stepping down as CEO of Great Canadian Entertainment, to be replaced by former company chief operating officer Matthew Anfinson. Former Rogers Sports & Media president Jordan Banks was also named executive chairperson.

Great Canadian recently announced it would launch live in-person sports betting at 10 of its Ontario casinos. Ontario online casinos launched in April along with wagering on sports.

“The appointment of Matt Anfinson as CEO, and Jordan Banks as Executive Chair, was not specific to any vertical in our business, whether that is casino gaming, non-gaming amenities such as hotels, theatres, and food and beverage, nor relatively new product lines for us such as sports betting in Ontario,” Chuck Keeling, executive vice president, stakeholder engagement, community and social responsibility at Great Canadian Entertainment, told Ontario Bets. “Rather, their respective experience in the fields of gaming, hospitality, entertainment, sports, and media, uniquely position Great Canadian to leverage the opportunities afforded to us in all of our product lines and properties across the country.

“Specific to retail sports betting, we currently offer the product at 10 of our locations in Ontario and we are very encouraged by initial results.”

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Contributors

Mark Keast

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.