A range of sports betting operators are waiting for one of the largest gambling markets in North America to activate the Open sign. Professional sports leagues, teams and media companies are forecasting the expected avalanche of money through advertising and marketing deals.
The prize for operators is to attract customers to the new Canadian version of the sports betting industry as fans try to learn the differences between betting, cash lines and player accessories.
And those same fans could perhaps bet on a game of pickleball or cornhole.
Over the summer, the federal government blessed a Criminal Code amendment giving provinces the power to license and regulate their own single-event betting and online gaming markets. Before this seismic shift, legal sports betting was restricted to provincial lottery corporations, while unauthorized gray market sports betting continued to do business.
However, more changes are coming, so the Star has asked industry insiders to grab their crystal balls or pull out their wishlists, with their eyes on a rapidly changing market in 2022.
- Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association: “There is great potential for the Canadian gaming industry. It must be recognized that sports betting and iGaming is an industry that can offer great economic opportunities in this country, and not just tax revenues. “
- Shelley White, CEO of the Responsible Gambling Council: “There is going to be an increase in gambling ads as operators enter Ontario. We have had conversations with regulators and operators to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to support the public and prevent gambling harm. ”
- Dave Pridmore, Strategy and Digital Director for the Ontario Lottery Corporation: “I am both anxious and excited about 2022. We are quite confident of acquiring gray market customers (because) our retail sports betting continues to be healthy as our digital platform grows.”
- Amanda Brewer, National Director of Kindred Group’s new Canadian online gambling business: “In 2022, we will have three provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta) with different sports betting models and this is a huge achievement. It will be interesting to see how these models work and if other provinces join in.
- Johnny Avello, Director of Racing and Sports Betting Operations at DraftKings: “Canada does everything the United States does when it comes to betting. Even though major sports have the most impact, we would like to expand the menu. You may find that sports like cornhole and pickleball start to pop up. “
- Steve Rapp, Director of Canadian Offline Marketing at Sports Interaction, licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission: “My wish is that we get a fair and balanced way of marketing ourselves. Not being able to say what we do and not being able to offer our products the way government lotteries do has been difficult. “
- Nic Sulsky, Commercial Director of PointsBet Canada: “As we work to open up the market, my bold prediction for 2022 is that competition will be fierce right from the gates – and while some (sports betting) will spend more than others, or some will seek to take advantage of previous gray and illegal market operations, no company will eclipse a market share of 20% or more.
- Scott Burton, CEO of Vancouver-based FansUnite Entertainment: “My biggest concern… is great market confusion across the country that will hurt existing legal operators in other provinces more than it will help keep the money in the ecosystem. We are already seeing foreign brands (gray market) taking over commercials and taking Canadian bets from people who probably think they are properly licensed since the passage of C-218, Ontario announced its opening and the fact that leagues and teams take their sponsorship dollars. “
- Meghan Chayka, co-founder of Stathletes: “I hope in 2022 for more innovation in Canadian sports and I will definitely focus on hockey, especially in Ontario. Blending traditional / social media with sports betting will be key to creating more engaging hockey content. “
- Jeff Harris, Founder and Leader of the Sport Affairs Advisory Group at Deloitte Canada: “You will see increased convergence of sports betting and media, but you will need to be aware of the oversaturation and fatigue when it comes to live streaming. “
- Benjie Cherniak, investor and sports betting advisor: “Ontario will be a rocket from the start. You look at the size of the market coupled with the rise of legalized gambling, the appetite for it being the first market to launch in Canada and the number of sports teams in the region.
- Chris Grove, sports betting entrepreneur: “I see expansion as the big story in 2022. We will continue to see access to legal and regulated betting expand into the United States and Canada. But we’ll also see sports betting operators and providers grow in size – perhaps dramatically – through a mix of aggressive spending and widespread merger and acquisition activity. “
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