Unibet Latest Example of Ontario Sportsbooks and Curling Partnerships

Unibet Latest Example of Ontario Sportsbooks and Curling Partnerships
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Curling continues to be an attraction for Ontario sportsbooks, with the news of Unibet’s sponsorship of the Northern Ontario Curling Association’s (NOCA) upcoming Women’s and Men’s Curling Championship (Jan. 24-29 in Kenora).

Betting on curling isn’t currently an option for any operator on the Kambi platform, including Unibet. This initial event is more a branding exercise for Unibet. 

Over the time of the event, the partnership with Unibet and its Unibet Ontario Sportsbook product will enable NOCA to provide unprecedented streaming coverage of every game, on every sheet of ice, to fans of curling around the province.

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“This sponsorship wasn’t done to get fans to bet on curling, it was to help promote a popular Canadian sport at the amateur level, and this competition … attracts a lot of great curlers,” said Amanda Brewer, Kindred Group’s country manager for Canada. Unibet is one of Kindred’s brands. “All the games will be streamed on CurlingZone.com, so there will be lots of opportunities to cheer the teams on.

“Kindred has a long commitment to sponsoring amateur sport in countries around the world, and Ontario is no different. Curling is a well-loved Canadian winter sport, and our sponsorship is a way to promote a fun recreational and competitive sport and its provincial championship.

NOCA has 41 member clubs and 11,000 curlers. 

PointsBet Ontario Sportsbook has taken a deeper dive into curling with its sponsorship agreement with Curling Canada and hosted their first PointsBet Invitational event in September in New Brunswick.

“We had a highly positive first event with PointsBet in September in Fredericton, and PointsBet reported some very positive data related to people engaging with their gaming platform specific to curling,” Curling Canada spokesperson Al Cameron said. “We’re looking forward to the second PointsBet Invitational next fall, and we also look forward to having them involved with our Season of Champions events later this season.

“Among the benefits that we’ve seen from this partnership are the opportunities for fans to engage in different ways with our sport. Our sport is tailored to in-game gaming opportunities with each end having a set score, which can grow the opportunities for fans to place bets. Most importantly, we've been able to work with an extremely engaged partner that wants the sport to grow and we're working with them on many ways to do that.”

Ontario sports betting apps and iGaming launched in April in Canada’s most populous province.

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NFL Wagering Hits in Ontario Sports Betting

At Proline, four different patrons picked the Los Angeles Rams to win by 30 points on Sunday at the long odds of +12500. That was likely more of an indictment of Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, rather than support of the Rams, who rewarded those backers with a 51-14 victory.

One patron bet $25 that in the Sunday Night Football game between Tampa Bay and Arizona, the score would be tied at the half and at the end of regulation. This prediction paid off to the tune of $2,525. 

Another customer turned $100 into $13,207.44 with a 10-team NFL parlay. Picks included Dallas, New York Giants +3.5, Carolina +2.5, Buffalo -7.5, Kansas City, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Houston +4.5, and two Unders.

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Storm Impact On Ontario Casinos

Great Canadian Entertainment reported minimal impact on their operations during the great winter storm over the past week.

Of course, online casino apps Ontario were unaffected.

“Despite the severe impact of the recent storms in communities in both Ontario and BC, only two of our 22 properties in those provinces had their operational hours abbreviated (Elements Casino Victoria and Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands),” said Chuck Keeling, executive vice president of the company. “Some of our food and beverage operations were also impacted, in the form of reduced hours.”

This is a big week for casinos. Because of restrictions related to reducing the spread of COVID-19, the casinos have not had typical celebrations for New Year’s Eve since 2019. Those events help get traffic into their properties.

Check with OntarioBets.com for reviews of Ontario online casinos and more.

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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.