Ontario Commercial Sports Betting Boosts Toronto’s Gaming Tech Industry

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The launch of Ontario’s commercial sports betting industry on April 4 has had a major impact across the province. As Canada’s most populated province, Ontario is also home to Toronto as a major North American city.

The addition of commercial sportsbook and iGaming operators in Ontario has directly boosted Toronto’s gaming tech industry. As Global Business Development Director for the Toronto Stock Exchange, Dani Lipkin noted:

This is a vitally important regulation, this is going to create jobs, this is going to make Ontario continue to be a powerhouse in the gaming industry. The province has done a phenomenal job in raising equity capital for those companies both at earlier and later stages. We want to continue to empower them with the capital they need for that growth domestically and internationally.

Dani Lipkin, TSE Director of Development

Case in point is Toronto media giant theScore. The media company went live in Ontario with theScore Bet through an equity partnership with Penn National Gaming. In the summer of 2021, theScore announced plans to build its company headquarters in Toronto’s Waterfront Innovation Centre downtown.

The 80,000 square-foot space creates a major presence in downtown Toronto. The company’s workforce has expanded 40% in the past year alone. Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns made note of this tremendous growth in a statement to the media.

Also noting his company’s commitment to Ontario and the city of Toronto was theScore CEO John Levy. His comments in a public release included:

We’ve been actively preparing for this opportunity, including aggressively hiring to further build out our Toronto-based workforce with a focus on investing heavily across technology and engineering. The Score has been part of the fabric of the Canadian sports scene for 25 years and theScore Bet launching in Ontario is the next step in the evolution of how we serve fans.

John Levy, CEO of theScore

The overall impact carries over to other Toronto-based companies in the gaming sector. Last year, Toronto Star launched NorthStar gaming. This was under the guidance of Torstar as its parent company.

PointsBet is an Australian-based sportsbook operator with business interests in the legal US industry. That company opened an office in Toronto as a prelude to entering the Ontario commercial market.

UK gaming giant Flutter Entertainment is the parent company of New York-based FanDuel. The company’s technology operations in Ontario employs more than 550 area workers. More and more sportsbook operators are establishing land-based operations in the region to better serve the Ontario province.

Also instrumental to Toronto’s gaming technology’s business presence is the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. Both institutions have been responsible for providing researchers and engineers to fill these expanding roles.

There is also a strong demand for coders that is being filled by area schools specializing in this type of training. It is still too early to estimate the potential economic impact gaming will have on the entire Ontario region. Yet, it is safe to say it will be substantial.

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

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