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There are a few U.S. sports betting operators who have made the push to expand into the Canadian sports betting market. And, now BetRivers has joined those ranks! A couple weeks ago, the operator launched a free-play casino and sportsbook at in Canada.

This free-play site is a move by BetRivers to help build up a customer base prior to the launch of its real money sportsbook and gaming in Ontario. According to regulators in Ontario, this real money site launch could potentially happen as early as December.

The CEO of BetRivers’ parent company Rush Street Interactive, Richard Schwartz, has expressed that he is excited about the company’s Canadian expansion. It is part of the company’s planned growth across the Americas. He hopes the company’s focus on fostering player trust and enjoyment will lead to a gaming experience that will set the company apart from the competition in Ontario.

Canada is the third country where Rush Street Interactive has launched either a real money or social gaming site, after Colombia and the United States. According to Eilers & Krejcik, as of July 2021, Rush Street Interactive was the fourth largest online casino and sports betting operator in the United States.

BetRivers has a retail presence in Illinois and Pennsylvania, where it has seen some good success. However, there are other states, like Colorado, where BetRivers has not been able to make a big impact on the sports betting scene. So, Rush Street Interactive has been looking for other ways, and to other brands, to expand.

Rush Street Interactive has made moves to link up with ESPN as a result.

Single-game sports betting became legal in Canada on August 27th. And, the province of Ontario is moving towards an open licensing regime for sports betting and online casino gaming. It is the aim of commercial operators to launch and start taking bets by December of 2021.

There are a good amount of U.S. sports betting operators that are hoping to find their place in the Canada sports betting market before that launch. For example, PointsBet has partnered up with Curling Canada. And, BetMGM has partnered with The Hockey News and hockey great Wayne Gretzky. theScore, a Toronto-based sports betting operator, is eying the adult recreational hockey scene with its deal with hockey arena owner Canlan Sports.

At this time, the only operating Ontario sportsbook has seen early wagerers leaning toward NFL betting. Sports betting stalwart DraftKings has made its first push into the Canadian market by expanding its daily fantasy sports partnership with the Shield.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can read more about our author's expertise here.