Greg Warren, who oversees sports wagering in Canada for USBets.com and Sportshandle.com, has witnessed the gambling industry boom since Ontario planned to open its sports betting market.
The legalization of single-game sports betting came into play during the summer of 2021, but Ontario doesn’t go live until April 4. Warren highlighted that fourteen operators have obtained licenses to launch their services when the market opens early next month.
“And that list could grow up to 30,” Warren commented. “Not all of them are going to be sports betting. But I would imagine at least two-thirds of those will be offering sports betting.
“It’s going to be a huge deal.”
Big Business in New York Reflects Well on Ontario
A report via Deloitte Canada has predicted that single-event sports betting could evolve into a $28 billion industry within the next five years.
In contrast, once single-game sports betting became legal in the state of New York on January 8, only four operators had acquired licenses ahead of the launch (DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Caesars Sportsbook). As of March 2022, New York has enlarged to nine operators.
Sports betting has boomed within New York state.
A return of more than $1.5 billion in wagers during the month of February was reported by the New York State Gaming Commission, following a debuting month of January that saw $1.7 billion.
Ontario would be the 5th largest state if located in the United States, and the province is expected to return more than $800 million in gross profit during its first year in business.
“Four groups that launched in New York in January (Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM) are expected to be major players (in Ontario),” Warren commented. “There are some uniquely Canadian brands that will be launching like theScore Bet and NorthStar Gaming.
“You also have some international (operators) like Bet365 and Unibet. You’ll have many sportsbooks from Europe, the U.S., and some born in Canada”.
Ontario Sports Betting Launch
Ontario’s opening day will coincide with the NCAA basketball final and The Masters’ tournament a few days later, giving sports betting enthusiasts a great selection to begin their legal sports wagering venture.
With that said, Ontario’s April 4 launch did fall short of the NFL Super Bowl and the NCAA March Madness tournament.
“The plan was to launch last December so that everyone would be up and running and have those marquee events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and NCAA tournament,” Warred said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, and there were operators who were upset about that.
“But the Ontario regulators are focusing on trying to get this right. They’ve done a lot of studies with different places in Europe that have had successful gaming models.
“Many operators have been impressed with how thorough the government has been researching all of this,” Warren added. “They feel they’re taking this seriously; they’ve done their homework on it.”
This month, the Canadian Gaming Association announced its official partnership with the International Betting Integrity Association for Ontario and the broader Canadian market. They will cooperate and arrange the framework for betting-related issues whilst shielding the market from fraudulent schemes.
“As far as responsible gaming goes, many operators take this very seriously,” Warren commented. “There’s a lot of safeguards that are being put in place.”