Online Sports Betting, Casino Games Underway in Ontario
“We look forward to what’s ahead,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. Burns hosted a panel discussion minutes before the stock exchange opened Monday morning.
Burns said 30 gaming operators have applied for licenses in Canada’s largest province. More than a dozen were ready to launch on Monday or soon afterward.
These operators are:
- Royal Panda
Other gaming operators, including DraftKings, are expected to be up and running soon in Ontario.
Sports Betting, Online Casino Games Now Legal
As of Monday, bettors in Ontario were allowed to download private-sector apps and began placing single-game wagers on sporting events.
Bettors also can now download commercial apps and wager on casino games such as poker, slots and blackjack.
Wagering Options Await Ontario Bettors
Among the sports-betting options this week is Monday’s March Madness title game between the Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tar Heels.
Also this week, bettors can wager on the Masters golf tournament, beginning Thursday.
A full slate of NHL games is on tap this week. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in Florida for the next two nights, facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs then head to Texas to face the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
The Major League Baseball regular season begins this week. This includes the Toronto Blue Jays’ season-opening homestand starting Friday against the Texas Rangers.
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors have three home games scheduled during the week. The Raptors are hosting the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets.
‘Great Day’ For Ontario Bettors
Monday’s launch was greeted with enthusiasm throughout the industry.
Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada, said Monday is a “great day for Ontario sports fans.”
He noted that PointsBet Canada was one of the first private sportsbooks to accept a legal wager in Ontario, with a bet placed “just 50 seconds” after midnight ET.
A bettor using a PointsBet Canada platform put $500 on North Carolina over Kansas and the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a two-leg parlay, Vanderwel said.
Ontario North America’s Second Largest Wagering Market
With more than 14.5 million people, Ontario would be the fifth-largest U.S. state, only behind New York. The Empire State has a population of about 19.5 million.
Sports betting is legal in New York but does not occur legally in the three states with larger populations. Those states, in order of population size, are California, Texas and Florida.
This makes Ontario the second most populous wagering market in North America.
Prior Wagers Only Allowing Through Government Agencies
Sports betting has been legal in Canada since 1985, but only through each province’s lottery system.
Single-game wagering was not allowed, though bettors could place parlay bets. In Ontario, those bets until Monday only could be placed through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
The launch on Monday allows non-governmental companies to compete for Ontario customers wanting to use mobile devices to bet on sports and play casino games.
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