Sports Betting Expert
The legal US sports betting industry grabbed most of the news headlines in 2021. The market expanded to the point where more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia are now offering legal sports betting in some form.
However, north of the border in Canada, the legal sports betting industry is picking up some major steam of its own.
Sports betting has been legal in this country for quite some time. Yet, it was limited due to the lack of legal wagers on single sporting events. All legal sports bets in Canada had to be in the form of a parlay with multiple teams.
Canadian lawmakers amended the laws covering sports betting in 2021. On Aug. 27 of last year, sports wagers on signal games and individual sporting events became legal in Canada.
This major shift in the market quickly caught the attention of sportsbook operators south of the US-Canadian border. Suddenly, major US players such as FanDuel and DraftKings expressed an interest in expanding their entire North American operations.
Closing out 2021 with a flurry of activity, the five most recent developments in Canada’s sports betting industry were each significant towards future expansion in 2022.
In early December, the province of Ontario announced that the commercial sports betting industry will not launch any earlier than March of 2022. This is one of the few Canadian provinces looking to expand sports betting beyond the current government-owned lottery and gaming system.
On Dec. 10 of last year, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis released a RFP (request for proposal) for commercial sportsbook operators. This province is looking to add two commercial sportsbooks to operate retail sportsbooks. This could pave the way for further expansion in the future.
As Canada’s own professional football league, the CFL expanded an existing strategic partnership with Genius Sports in mid-December. Genius Sports now has exclusive rights to the CFL’s official league data and stats on a global scale. The data company also acquired a stake in a new commercial venture by the CFL.
Scientific Games is a world leader in gaming entertainment. The company’s portfolio includes products for social gaming, casinos, lottery and sports betting. On Dec. 16, it announced an expansion of sports betting options for the Western Canada Lottery Corp. This includes the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
To close out the year on a high note, Penn National Gaming announced plans for Canadian expansion. The Pennsylvania-based gaming and entertainment company has formed Score Digital Sports Ventures. This will be known as theScore Bet in the Ontario market. Penn National secured GLI-33 certification in advance of an Ontario launch.
These are just a few of the most recent industry developments in Canada as 2021 came to a close. These developments will be part of a Canadian sports betting industry that has an exciting future in 2022.
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.