With the legalization of sports betting in Canada, there’s a long list of potential Ontario sportsbook apps. For Ontarians who haven’t had access to the companies that make up the U.S. marketplace, the choices could seem overwhelming.
Fortunately, we know who some of the sportsbooks in Ontario might be, and that can tell us what the landscape will be when the Ontario Government finally licenses non-Proline options.
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The DFS site has been one of the earliest movers in the U.S. market, with wide reach and a ton of sponsorship deals for both their DFS and sports betting offerings. They’ve shown interest in the Canadian market through their partnerships with Canadian content creators, and the Boston-based company is well placed for a Canadian expansion.
DraftKings is trying to leverage their reputation for reliability, as well as offering bets on a wide selection of events, as they expand in the U.S. (and into Canada), as well as offering lucrative DK offers to entice new bettors.
FanDuel is trying to do the same thing as DraftKings, using wide sponsorship and their DFS customers to try and get into the sports betting space, attracting users with FD Sportsbook promos. Their willingness to sponsor a wide range of sports content, including Bill Simmons and the Ringer’s content, will continue to be its differentiation.
The online presence of the Vegas casino and hotel magnate, BetMGM is a bit of a wild card as to its Canadian plans, but they would be an obvious choice for those looking to a more established sports betting option, given their decades of running a host of Vegas sportsbooks, including inside the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and the Bellagio.
The former TV channel and ubiquitous sports app has been bought by Penn National Gaming, the owners of (amongst others) the controversial Barstool Sportsbook. Penn has announced it will be using the theScore Bet branding for their Ontario properties and its Ontario sportsbook apps.
The value proposition of theScore Bet is the ability to bet from their sports app, widely used for more than a decade. Ease of use and a wide platform is their way in, as is the residual good will of the brand amongst Canadians old enough to remember the old TV channel.
What About The Grey Market Books?
Despite the lack of official sanction, we already see one of the offshoots of legalization in the increase in odds content on Canadian sports media, with Hockey Night In Canada running ads for a Canadian site in the grey market every week.
The Government has made no explicit comment on how these grey market sites will be handled, but for books based in Britain, it is likely that the Ontario Government will seek formalized status for them, especially as the market is flooded with new players.
More Sports Betting Equals Freedom Of Choice
The expected surge in books will lead to Ontarians having much greater choice than they do right now, and the increase in competition will have the effect that legalization has had in the U.S. – a lot of promotions, a lot of deals, and stiff competition to have the best available lines.
All of these things are going to benefit the average Ontario bettor, especially given the likelihood there will be a rush to be first into the market, once the Government allows them in.
Legalization will lead to a flood in the market, increased competition, and a host of new players in the market. It will also cause Pro-Line to adopt to not having a monopoly, which will be an interesting reaction to watch.
All in, legalization is about to change the shape of the legal sports betting market in radical ways.