The Three Most Important Moments for Canada Sports Betting in 2021

The Three Most Important Moments for Canada Sports Betting in 2021
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With single-event sports betting becoming legal in 2021, it was a landmark year for Canadian sports bettors who were no longer relegated to betting only parlays.

Here are the top three sports betting stories of 2021 in Canada.

 

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3. Penn National Acquires theScore

In October, Penn National became one of the biggest entities in the Canada sports betting market when it acquired theScore for $2 billion in cash and stock. theScore is the third most popular sports media app in North America and No. 1 in Canada, allowing Penn National to utilize theScore’s fully integrated media and betting platform.

“We’re excited to be creating this powerful new entertainment flywheel that will provide us with multiple growth channels that transcend our current business verticals,” Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National Gaming, said in a media release.

“We look forward to entering the Canadian gaming market, which represents a compelling new opportunity, and are proud to have John Levy and his family and their entire team bring their best-in-class technology, unique perspective and skillsets to our Penn National family."

 

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Penn National continued to take steps to expand its presence in Canada later in the year. On Dec. 20, Penn National announced theScore Bet obtained a Gaming Laboratories International GLI-33 certificate for its online sports betting and iGaming app.

Receiving GLI-33 certification meets one of the requirements theScore Bet must get for it to become an official online sports wagering and iGaming operator in Ontario.

 

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“We’re pleased to be one of the first online gaming operators to secure GLI-33 certification in Ontario,” Levy, CEO of theScore, said in a media release. “We are eager to launch theScore Bet in our home market and showcase our unrivaled combination of media and gaming to fans across the province. This approval is a credit to our first-rate product and engineering team who have been hard at work to ready theScore Bet for launch in Ontario.”

2. First Dedicated Sports Betting Network Launches in Canada

Canada saw the launch of its first dedicated sports betting broadcast go live in 2021 with the introduction of Parleh TV. The free online channel is available to all sports fans 24/7 and debuted on Oct. 12, just in time for the start of the NHL season.

Parleh TV allow Canadians to access a full schedule of sports betting shows, including Puck Talks, which is Parleh’s marquee hockey betting show. Puck Talks features insights and on-the-street segments for the seven Canadian NHL teams.

 

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“From NFL over/unders and weekly CFL winners to dark-horse picks for the Stanley Cup, The Parleh has taken the unknown out of sports betting and is making it fun and entertaining for the everyday sports fan,” Kevin Kennedy, President and Executive Producer of Parleh Media Group, said in a media release.

“Our social accounts are already a must follow, and now with Parleh TV we can be there for Canadians 24/7 to help them get through all the clutter and data so they can be informed and entertained when they make a casual bet.”

1. Single-event betting comes to Canada

The landscape of Canada sports betting changed on Aug. 27 when single-event sports betting officially launched, allowing provinces and territories to manage single-game betting within their borders. Previously, Canadians were only allowed to make parlay sports bets.

 

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In the first five days single-event betting was live, the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corp. (OLG) took in more than $1 million in bets.

Of those wagers placed during that span, almost 74% were single-event bets, according to the OLG.

Currently, Canadian bettors are only allowed to make single-game bets through government-owned lottery corporations. The British Colombia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) immediately began taking single-event bets on its PlayNow.com platform.

“This is a landmark moment for BCLC and our players,” BCLC interim president and CEO Lynda Cavanaugh said. “We’re excited to enhance our offerings on PlayNow.com, the only gambling website operating in B.C. where revenue goes back to British Columbians by supporting provincial initiatives like healthcare, education and community programs.”

 

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The Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) also debuted its single-game sports betting offerings on Dec. 16. Canadian bettors can also place live bets and futures with the WCLC, powered by the Scientific Games Lottery team.

"We're extremely proud of the hard work by both the WCLC and Scientific Games Lottery teams that helped us rejuvenate the sports betting experience in western Canada and introduce real-time odds, futures and single-game betting," Tedda Sandercock, Vice President of IT for WCLC, said in a media release. "By integrating new sports betting functionality with our gaming system, we're now able to offer players an experience they've never had before."

 

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Alberta is also moving forward with allowing private vendors to enter its sports betting market and offer single-event wagers. The province recently started to accept bids from potential vendors. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (ALGC) is attempting to establish retail and online sports wagering options for 2022.

“Opening the bid process for retail sports betting in Alberta is another exciting step for sports fans in the province,” said Kandice Machado, President and CEO of the AGLC. “AGLC is proud to facilitate this next step that will involve the existing casino and racing entertainment centre industry while working with Alberta’s major professional sports teams. Continuing this work is an important step in offering consumers convenience and choice in their gambling entertainment options.”

 

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