What Kind of Timeline Does BetRegal Have For Ontario Online Casino?

What Kind of Timeline Does BetRegal Have For Ontario Online Casino?
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It has been a while since we heard from BetRegal, which is still working through its registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for Ontario online casino operations.

AGCO approval is the first step in jumping into the regulated iGaming space in Ontario. The last step would be getting an operating agreement from iGaming Ontario (iGO).

There are currently 42 legal entities operating in the iGaming space in Ontario, a market that, according to iGO, did $11.53 billion in total wagers for its third quarter as a market (the fourth quarter of the 2022 calendar year, Oct. 1-Dec. 31).

Legal Ontario sports betting and iGaming options launched in April 2022.

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Reaction From BetRegal

“Our AGCO application is active and pending, as we have now completed all the additional Eligibility and Compliance requirements requested prior to approval,” BetRegal head of marketing Aly Lalani said. “Admittedly, the lengthy process of finalizing out Ontario license has been challenging, but we remain fully committed to Ontario as a market. We anticipate a final decision shortly, which will allow us to build upon the great relationships we have already established with key partners in Ontario. Upon registrar approval we expect to be back in the Ontario market with a bigger presence and eager to bring a truly Canadian sports betting solution to Ontario.”

BetRegal is still the Official Sports Gaming Partner of the CFL, and they have a similar sponsorship deal with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats franchises. They will want to get their license wrapped up and be live by the time that league gets going with training camps in May.

BetRegal is currently licensed and operating in Mexico and Ireland.

“I believe that there are a few elements BetRegal has done successfully in Mexico and Ireland that we plan to apply to our home market, in Ontario,” Lalani said. “We definitely want to focus on community — as illustrated through our relationship with Dundalk FC in Ireland. Once we are operating in Ontario, we want to focus our efforts on the fact that Ontario and Canada is home for us, and being involved at the community level is very important. That is why our relationship with the CFL and our community MVP program is so important.

“At the core, we want to ensure that our marketing and brand efforts are anchored on the fact that we are the home team,” he added. “Our CEO is Canadian. Each member of our executive management team are proud Canadians, bringing with them decades of authentic gaming experience. So, we are not just visiting, we are going to be unapologetically community minded.” 

Another lesson they will be taking into the Ontario sportsbook apps market will be education. 

“We feel strongly that the successful sports betting brands will be the ones that interact with their users and build up a relationship that helps inform current and future users complex sports betting concepts and terminologies,” Lalani said. “We want education of the customer to be our differentiator.” 

Regarding those Ontario market Q3 numbers, Lalani says the one thing that stands out for him is the “massive amounts of marketing costs” that some Ontario casino apps operators are taking on, seemingly to just acquire market share without the concern of profitability.

The various teams, leagues, players, venues, and broadcasters seem to be “winning” at generating revenue, not necessarily the operators.

“I think it will be interesting to see what happens as brands move further into the business lifecycle of operating in Ontario, as opposed to just concerning themselves with the current race for market share,” he said. “At last glance, there were 70+ operators vying for a piece of the pie. Will consolidation take place? We might very well be entering a phase where the larger brands will look to acquire smaller operators in an effort to accelerate the acquisition of market share.”

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Proline Adds Curling Market

The Canadian women’s curling championship – the Scotties Tournament of Hearts – got underway in Kamloops and runs through Feb. 26. The event is a who’s who of women’s curling.

Until now, the PointsBet Ontario Sportsbook had taken the lead for curling betting in Canada. Now Proline has joined the party as one of the few platforms you can access to bet legally on the sport in the province.

Proline is offering an outright to win the tournament. The pretournament odds had Team Canada as the favorite at 2.30 (or +130 in American odds format), followed by Ontario, Wildcard 1 (Team Lawes), Manitoba and Wildcard 2 (Team Scheidegger).

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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.