An Expanded Partnership Into Canada is Announced Between the NHL and FanDuel and BetMGM

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Canada and hockey go together like butter and popcorn. So, it’s no surprise that the National Hockey League is looking to expand its reach in the Canadian market. A few days ago, the NHL revealed that it had brokered new deals with two major sportsbook operators, BetMGM and FanDuel.

These new deals will expand the National Hockey League’s partnership territories to include Canada. This announcement comes days after the commercial sports betting market opened in Ontario on April 4. And it is most likely not a coincidence that both operators launched in the Ontario sports betting market just a few days ago.

The Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer of the NHL, Keith Wachtel, indicated that the move comes due to a couple reasons. The sports betting marketplace in Canada is a great opportunity for the NHL to expand their reach especially when it comes to sports betting. The company hopes to energize and engage their existing fans in Canada as well.

The Ontario sports betting marketplace has long been eyed by many operators. The population of the province would make it the fifth most populous state in the United States. So, it is a prime market rife with the opportunity for profit.

Canada changed its criminal code last year in August 2021 to allow for single event sports betting. But, the regulation of sports betting was still left up to the individual provinces. Most provinces launched sports betting operations run by their provincial lotteries as a result.

Ontario launched ProLine+ from the Ontario Lottery that same month. But, it is now the first province to open its doors to commercial operators, a move other provinces are expected to copy.

The NHL already had existing partnerships with both FanDuel and BetMGM in the U.S. They were the first two sportsbook companies to partner with the NHL in the United States. This new partnership deal will allow FanDuel and BetMGM to use NHL branding in Canada as well as the states.

The two sportsbooks also enjoy the ability to have custom content on media channels for the NHL.

When creating its strategy for the Canadian market, BetMGM decided to use the Canadian love of hockey to its advantage. The company has additional partnerships with The Hockey News as well as famed NHL players Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid, the current NHL MVP. The new deal will allow them to customize the experiences and content that they offer to the Canadian market.

The CEO of BetMGM, Adam Greenblatt, has been pleased with the company’s partnership with the NHL as it has played out already. The company is excited to expand the partnership to include Canada and hopeful the strategy will payoff in gains in the Canadian market.

FanDuel has been able to conquer the sports betting market in the United States. Now, it is looking to see if it can replicate its success when it comes to Ontario sports betting. With its partnership with the NHL, FanDuel is able to have visible signage during NHL tentpole events, including the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The CEO of FanDuel Group, Amy Howe, feels the partnership between the two has led to market innovations. The company hopes to continue this trend with the expanded partnership.

A few days ago, FanDuel also announced a new partnership with TSN, The Sports Network. So, it is clear the company has some strategic moves for its continued success. The NHL also announced partnerships earlier in 2022 with Ontario Lottery and Gaming and OLG’s sportsbook, ProLine+.

ProLine+ also partnered around the same time with the NFL. So, it is clear that the Ontario sports betting market is key for a lot of sports betting strategies in the Canadian market.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

The featured image for this post was sourced on Getty Images.