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The game continues to change in the legal sports betting industry. In late August, new laws in Canada went into effect to allow sports wagers on single games. The previous laws only allowed legal wagers on parlays.

Suddenly, all the legal US and Canadian sports betting operators have become competitors in the North American sports betting industry. Market leaders such as FanDuel and DraftKings have been quick to react.

Business interests north of the border are now viewed as the perfect complement to current expansion plans in the US. One of the best examples of this crossover appeal is the National Hockey League.

As one of four major US-based professional sports leagues, the NHL offers the biggest concentration of teams. There are seven NHL franchises based in Canada covering the majority of that country’s population.

This is one of the main reasons why both FanDuel and DraftKings have created a strategic partnership with the league. This creates the perfect opportunity to expand their area of influence into this legal sports betting market.

The new Canadian law puts the implementation of single-game sports wagers into the hands of individual provinces. This mirrors the US industry that is controlled by individual states.

The next step for the two biggest legal US sportsbook operators is expanding their marketing clout in Canada. Industry insiders have identified FanDuel and DraftKings as the leading candidates for three extremely high profile partnerships.

The first is with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. The other is with Rogers Sports & Media and the third would be with Bell Media. The goal is to reach the Ontario sports betting base which resides in the most populated province in Canada.

The new NHL season got underway on October 12. Prior to that date, DraftKings announced its new partnership with the league. The company is now an official betting, daily fantasy and iGaming partner of the NHL.

In a separate deal, DraftKings becomes the exclusive sportsbook and daily fantasy provider for Turner Network’s NHL coverage. This is significant for a number of reasons. Topping the list is Turner’s plans to incorporate DraftKings’ content into the network’s NHL game broadcasts.

Rogers Communications secured the broadcast rights for the NHL in Canada back in 2014. At that time, the company signed a 12-year deal valued at $5.2 billion (US).

It has been speculated that FanDuel may have the inside edge when it comes to striking a deal with Rogers as an official betting partner. The company has already spent more than $420 million this year on its marketing efforts in the US market.

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