Last Updated Mar 17, 2022, 12:22 PM

NHL Announces New Ontario Sports Betting Partnership

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All the buzz in Ontario’s legal sports betting industry centers on the province’s expansion of commercial operators. The planned launch for this new expansion remains April 4.

In the meantime, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) remains busy making plans of its own. The OLG represents Ontario as a government-owned sports betting and iGaming operator.

The OLG has defined the legal online sports betting industry in Ontario since going live in 2000. The company’s online betting platform is PROLINE+ as the original source for online sports betting and casino games.

As a means to bolster its standing with Ontario sports bettors, OLG will become the first sports betting partner of the National Hockey League. This is a significant development given the NHL’s lofty standing in Canada.

The NHL consists of 32 teams with seven of the franchises based in Canada. Two of those teams represent Ontario with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators located in the province.

The multi-year partnership designates  OLG’s PROLINE+ as the official sportsbook products of the NHL. As part of this agreement, OLG was able to kick things off as the official sponsor of the 2022 NHL Heritage Classic between the Maple Leafs and the rival Buffalo Sabres.

The game was played in Hamilton, Ontario on March 13 with Buffalo winning 5-2. PROLINE+ was the presenting sponsor of the NHL PreGame event at the Heritage Classic.

Also part of the deal are co-branded promotions deigned to appeal to “sports betting enthusiasts.” These promotional plans will be staged through the remainder of the NHL’s regular season right through the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

OLG has been given distribution rights to the NHL’s logo and any specific team trademarks to aid its marketing efforts. Given the strong fan base for both the Maple Leafs and Senators, both teams will be an instrumental piece of OLG’s plans in Ontario.

The NHL is no stranger to sportsbook partnerships. In the legal US market, the league is currently affiliated with FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. These same US-based operators are currently working on plans to expand into the Canadian market.

This current situation is what makes the new partnership with OLG so important to the PROLINE+ sports betting platform. Gaining a strong foothold with NHL fans before Ontario expands the marketplace can help protect OLG’s standing as owning the only legal online betting platform.

The NHL is also committed to responsible gaming. The league launched its own gaming initiative “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly.” OLG instituted a PlaySmart program that has been certified by the World Lottery Association.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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