Sports Betting Possible in Ontario by Super Bowl, Rivalry CEO Says
Toronto-based Rivalry Corp. is anticipating the launch of sports betting in its home province, Ontario, possibly in time for the NFL’s Super Bowl early next year, the sports-betting company’s CEO said Wednesday.
During a third-quarter earnings call, co-founder and CEO Steven Salz noted that authorities have not set a start date for when legal sports betting will begin in Canada’s most populous province.
Salz anticipated sports wagering will kick off there in the first half of 2022, possibly by Super Bowl Sunday. The Super Bowl, always one of the most heavily bet events of any year, is being held on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
In October, Rivalry said it applied to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to operate sports betting and internet gaming in the province.
Also in October, the company premiered its casino game, Rushlane.
Seeking Gen Z Bettors
During the earnings call, Salz said Rivalry is building its brand around younger players, the Millennials, representing the future of sports betting.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are those born from 1981 to 1996. People born “from 1997 onward” are part of Generation Z, the center notes on its website.
“Our brand is playful and relevant,” Salz said during the call.
Strong Q3 Results
Also during the call, Salz announced an increase in company earnings during the third quarter of 2021.
From July through September, Rivalry reported a betting handle of $23.2 million, up 141% from $9.6 million during the same period of 2020.
Rivalry also reported revenue of $3.7 million in Q3 2021, up 679% from $0.5 million in the third quarter of 2020.
“It’s a very exciting time for Rivalry,” Salz said.
In addition to Canada, Rivalry is exploring growth opportunities in Australia, Europe and the U.S., he said.
Sportsbook Competition Expected in Ontario
Ontario sports betting is expected to be popular. The province has more professional athletic teams than any other in Canada, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays.
The National Hockey League and National Basketball Association began their regular seasons this fall and will be in full stride during the mid-winter months, when sports betting is expected to begin in Ontario.
The online sportsbooks expected to participate in Ontario include Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook Ontario, BetMGM Ontario and PointsBet Ontario.
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