Penn National CEO: Mobile Sports Betting in Ontario to Expand Early 2022

Penn National CEO: Mobile Sports Betting in Ontario to Expand Early 2022
© USA Today

Commercial sports betting in Canada is expected to go live in Ontario, sometime in the first three months of next year, according to Penn National Gaming’s chief executive officer.

During an earnings call on Thursday, CEO Jay Snowden said earlier projections indicated the launch could occur by December.

Now, the timeline for commercial sports wagering to begin in Canada’s most populous province is probably sometime in the middle of the first quarter of 2022, he said. That would put the launch possibly in February.

“We’re going to be launching aggressively there,” he said.

In the summer, Penn National, headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, bought Toronto-based Score Media & Gaming Inc.

Penn National said Score Media’s app, theScore, is the leading sports app in Canada. In the U.S., Penn National is continuing to use its Barstool Sportsbook for bettors placing online wagers.

Officials in Ontario are planning to allow private-sector mobile sportsbooks to operate in the province. These mobile betting sites, including Penn National’s theScore, would operate in addition to a government-run betting site.

Other commercial sportsbooks lined up to participate in mobile wagering in Ontario could include DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook Ontario, BetMGM Ontario, and PointsBet Ontario.

‘Major Player’

Snowden predicted that 2022 would be a year of “hockey stick growth” for Penn National.

“We expect to be a major player in Ontario when they go live,” he said.

A winter launch in Canada is expected to be beneficial for mobile sportsbook operators in Ontario. The province has more professional sports teams than any other province.

The National Hockey League and National Basketball Association have popular teams in Ontario. Both leagues began regular-season play in October and will be in full swing during the mid-winter months.

The Canadian Football League also has teams in Ontario, though this year’s season ends Dec. 12 with the 108th Grey Cup. Major League Soccer, also with a presence in Ontario, wraps up its season in December.

Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays also are based in Ontario. This week, the baseball season ended with the Atlanta Braves defeating the Houston Astros to win the World Series title. The baseball season will begin again in the spring.