The green effects in the Ontario gaming biz
Wall Street analysts agree that former grey market operators will see the biggest returns early, and theScore announces its CP Women's Open activation plans.
In this issue:
Grey market operators expected to lead the way in early days
TheScore goes from skyline seats to greenside seats
Worldwide leader seeks a dance partner
Breakfast and some betting talk
The Company Line - Gaming Innovation Group
A reminder that our Twitter Spaces rendezvous on Thursday afternoons is on hiatus until Sept. 8.
Grey market operators got an early jump: analysts
We try to make the point as often as possible here and on social media platforms that the success of this weekly fire hose of information on the business of sports betting and gaming is more than somewhat attributed to the reporting being done in all corners of the world. And we pay special homage to the they/she/he covering the happenings around North America.
So, Parleh props this week to Jeff Lagerquist at Yahoo Finance, who spoke with Wall Street analysts about the early clubhouse leaders in Ontario’s legal betting industry. Said analysts reinforced what insiders have been saying: the former grey market operators - Bet365, William Hill and Betway to name a few - which received the blessing of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and iGaming Ontario, got a jump on operators like theScore, FanDuel, PointsBet, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, BetRivers, NorthStar Bets and Rivalry which awaited single-event sports betting to be deemed legal in our home and native land.
"It's a unique situation in Ontario, where grey market operators have been allowed to sort of become cleansed," Barry Jonas, managing director of Truist Securities, told Lagerquest. "They have an obvious advantage, given that they've been taking bets from players for some time."
As Lagerquist reminds us, grey market operators were given a grace period to continue operating while going through the application process with the AGCO. As we wrote in Tuesday’s dispatch, BetRegal, Bet99, Pinnacle and Sports Interaction are believed to fit in that category.
“Almost without a doubt, the grey market guys will have a huge leg up," Stifel analyst Jeffrey Stantial told Lagerquist. "I think you'll see a really nice print out of the gate from the legacy, grey market operators."
When we see those numbers is a bet we’d shy away from at this time. Pat Evans at Legal Sports Report covered all the bases with this Tuesday column on the relative cone of silence around Ontario as we remain on standby for the first report from iGaming Ontario.
Also, we checked in with the AGCO this week on the application process and were told “we’ve been closely with all that have applied to join the market. Not every operator application proceeds at the same rate. Every step in the application process can take a varying amount of time which is mostly dependent on the operator.”
It should be noted the AGCO has issued 10 operator and supplier registrations since the beginning of July.
TheScore is going green(side) at CP Women’s Open
From skyline seats to greenside seats.
When theScore Bet and Golf Canada announced their multi-year partnership one year ago next weekend, theScore’s marketing guru Aubrey Levy was bullish on the exclusive opportunity for the sportsbook to activate on-site at Canada’s PGA Tour and LPGA Tour stops and being able to do so on Ontario golf course for both events over the next three years.
So, when the best female players on the planet - including local favourite Brooke Henderson from nearby Smiths Falls - come to the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club next week for the CP Women’s Open, they’ll be witnesses to theScore Bet Greenside Lounge at the 11th, 13th and 14th greens. TheScore Bet will also host a Members Lounge exclusive to users of its online sportsbook on the 17th fairway of the The Rink Hole, a tres cool environment with hockey boards the line the fairway.
“The newly created theScore Bet Greenside Lounge expands our event hospitality by bringing all the amenities of a VIP space right to the edge of the green,” Levy, the company’s senior vice president of content and marketing, said in a news release issued yesterday. “The lounges provide an opportunity to comfortably watch an exciting field that includes many Canadian golfers from the best seats on the course, all without having to arrive early or wait in line. We’re proud to support the CP Women’s Open and bring this experience to life with our partner, Golf Canada.”
In June, at the RBC Canadian Open, theScore Bet offered a view from 100 feet of the first and 18th holes at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. Given the logistics and real estate required around a major golf event (i.e. parking, broadcast partners and media, corporate hospitality, tournament operations, volunteers, etc., etc., etc.), it’s more than safe to say that Patrick Reed has a better chance of winning his lawsuit against Brandel Chamblee and the Golf Channel than skyline seats becoming a staple of sponsorship activation on the tours.
Worldwide leader still looking for a dance partner
One of the first announcements to coincide with the April 4th opening day of Ontario’s wide-open regulated sports betting market was TSN’s multi-year partnership with FanDuel. It’s fair to say that, as is the case with pretty much every other element of this brave new world, the two partners are still finding their way when it comes to integrating FanDuel’s data and other offerings into TSN’s coverage without annoying viewers who have no interest in money lines, over/unders and/or parlays. Down the road at 1 Mount Pleasant Rd., Sportsnet has yet to go all in with a sportsbook.
It’s the same story at ESPN, where there’s been plenty of buzz over the past week.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek, during the company’s Q3 earnings call, said Disney has been in “conversations for quite a long time” with several sportsbooks, and it remains a priority for ESPN to have a dance partner in the wagering world.
“We have found that basically our sports fans that are under 30 absolutely require this type of utility in the overall portfolio of what ESPN offers,” Chapek said. “So we think it’s important. We’re working hard on it, and we hope to have something to announce in the future in terms of a partnership there that will allow us to access that revenue stream and also make sure that our guests are being – having their needs met.”
Breakfast and some betting talk
Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought all of our worlds to a screeching halt, the Sponsorship Marketing Council Canada provided a place for higher learning about the business of sports - along with an opportunity to do the schmoozing/networking thing - with their regular Breakfast Forums.
The coffee-and-catchup events are back, as SMCC will present a panel next Wednesday (Aug. 24) at Real Sports in downtown Toronto to discuss Sports Betting in Canada: From Legalization to Proliferation, with an emphasis on the early days of Ontario’s open igaming market. The topics on the docket include the strategies for engagement by the 25 operators approved so far by iGaming Ontario, the roles brands and properties have played, and learnings in the opening five months.
Props to the Council for putting together a panel from most sectors of the industry, led by Amanda Brewer, the Canadian country manager for Kindred Group, a senior advisor to the Canadian Gaming Association and a wealth of knowledge most Thursdays on our Twitter Spaces get-togethers. Brewer will be joined by Parleh Media Group personality and NBA expert Noor Zainab; Jeff Harris, the national sports business advisory leader for Deloitte; Keesje Kort, PointsBet Canada’s director of commercial partnerships; Kuljeet Sindhar, the NBA’s associate VP, international gaming and data ventures; and Caspar Yue, the manager of digital sports strategy for OLG/ProLine+.
Tickets are still available, and you can register here.
The Company Line
This week, Gaming News Canada introduces our loyal subscribers to Kinectify, which recently registered with the Canadian Gaming Association as a new member.
Home Base: Malta
Founders: Robin Reed and Frode Fagerli
Raison D’Etre: Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), licensed by the AGCO as a supplier, provides solutions, products and services to igaming operators.
If you’d like to have your company featured in this section to profile the players in the Canadian gaming space, please drop us a note at email@example.com.
On the Home Front
Play Alberta is taking . . . er. . . dead aim at grey market operators with a new advertising campaign that mimics horror movies.
As we mentioned Tuesday, Christine Dobby of The Toronto Star did some deep reporting on OLG turning bingo halls into de facto casinos despite provincial law prohibiting slot machines in bingo halls. The lottery corp says the halls follow the law.
Thanks to SportNation Bet Canada for reporting yesterday that Kaizen Gaming has received an AGCO licence for its Betano sportsbook.
Novibet is filling out the paperwork from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and expects to be offering its igaming and online sports betting platform in the province before year’s end.
Woodbine Entertainment head honcho Jim Lawson told Play Canada’s Dave Briggs that horse racing is on its way to sportsbooks operating in Ontario.
Montreal’s casino workers and Loto-Quebec have reached a tentative agreement.
Gaming Innovation Group, which is receiving significant ink in this week’s dispatch, has a new partnership with Kings Media to support its business in Ontario.
Toronto-based Playmaker Capital is launching a couple of podcasts to help grow its North American soccer content, and has named Caroline Szwed as the Chief Content Officer of The 90th Minute.
Let’s Get Together
Canadian company FansUnite Entertainment will be powering the sports betting websites for Lovell Brothers in the UK and Welsh markets.
ComeOn Group has created a casino API which will be used by Apparat Gaming in Germany.
EQL Games has an iLottery content deal in place with the Michigan Lottery.
rEvolution is now the media agency of record for Betfred Sportsbook.
RushBet and LaLiga are expanding their partnership to operate across Latin America. And LaLiga has a new multi-year deal with Stats Perform.
Gaming Innovation Group is growing its Latin American operators through a partnership with Grupo Boldt.
BetVictor is teaming up with a UK sports radio station to create a new sports betting brand.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation and Sportradar are collaborating on the launch of a new app to combat match fixing.
Kaizen Gaming has extended its partnership with Leap Gaming into Romania.
Playson will be providing casino games to Gaming Innovation Group.
Matters of M&A
Penn Entertainment is exercising its right to acquire the rest of Barstool Sports.
Inspired Entertainment has offered $370 million to acquire supplier PlayAGS. There are reports that the initial offer was rejected.
Genius Sports Group once again saw a sharp rise in revenue as it released its Q2 earnings on Tuesday.
Sportradar, the other big kid on the sports tech/data/integrity block, came out with its quarterly report yesterday and touted a healthy increase in U.S.-based revenue year over year.
Catena Media’s Q2, which included launching in Ontario, produced less-than-stellar results.
Enthusiast Gaming released its second-quarter financials Tuesday, touting its highest quarterly gross profit to date.
Everi Holdings also announced record quarterly income for its Q2.
SuperGroup is pointing at the economy as a major factor in a year-over-year decline in net gaming revenue.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority put out its Q3 results last week, including the numbers from Niagara Resorts in its first full quarter post-pandemic.
888 Holdings reported a double-digit drop in revenue for the first half of the year. The company also announced it will be cutting back its investment in non-core brands.
And, ICYMI, Flutter in its Q2 results reported that FanDuel has reached profitability.
States Side Stories
The launch date for legal sports betting in Kansas is expected to be announced today.
MLB is the first major professional sports league to lend its support for legalizing sports betting in California.
The president of the New York Yankees has a couple of requests: a lower tax rate on sportsbooks operating legally in the Empire State, and a casino on Coney Island.
The American Gaming Association released its Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker last week and several signs point to another record-breaking revenue year for the industry south of the border.
Jessica Welman at SBC reports that Fubo is wasting no time in employing a full court press to find a sports betting partner.
Welman also reminds folks that Prop 26 in California is about more than legal sports betting.
Steve Ruddock spoke with Sportradar’s American head of government affairs for Props.com on why some sports betting bills fly. . . and others flop.
The Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency hopes to open its legal sports wagering business in time for the Super Bowl in February.
A tip of the old Victoriaville to our friends at Alpha Sharp Advisors for this tres cool graphic on New York’s rapid rise in sports betting tax revenue.
The Empire State has rode the early wave, as the decline in sports betting volume has now reached five months in a row.
Indiana’s sports betting handle has taken a dive over four consecutive months.
July also brought a drop in revenue for New Jersey operators.
Sportsbook revenue enjoyed a bump last month despite a drop in handle.
Both Unibet and FanDuel will have an in-stadium betting presence at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles this season.
Matt Rybaltowski at Sports Handle examined the options for FuboTV’s sportsbook business.
A take here that legal sports betting in Massachusetts won’t be a roaring success.
Caesars, at least for now, is sitting on the sidelines watching the battle for legal sports betting in California.
PlayCA managing editor David Danzis wrote an op-ed for The Mercury News in favour of legal sports betting.
MaximBet CEO Daniel Graetzer was interviewed by Robin Harrison at igamingbusiness.com about the brand’s U.S. journey so far.
Bally’s has applied for a licence to build a casino in downtown Chicago.
A Long Island detective and eight alleged organized crime members have been charged in an illegal gambling bust at a New York cafe.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has a plan for legal sports betting to help fund education programs in Georgia.
Wynn Resorts was the runaway leader in the Massachusetts casino market last month.
Gavin Isaacs, Virginia McDowell and Michael Rumbolz are the latest inductees into the Gaming Hall of Fame.
Resorts World Casino fired its director of security after a report unveiled a potential conflict of interest with New York mayor Eric Adams.
Corey Sharp at PlayPennsylvania.com profiled ESPN sports betting analyst Erin Dolan.
And Jason Ence at Barrett Sports Media did some keyboarding on the recent moves by sports betting/fantasy sports experts Liz Loza and Matthew Berry.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood has awarded more than $1 billion in jackpot winnings so far this year.
Jefebet has launched a new free-to-play lottery game.
FSB is taking its suite of sports betting services into South Dakota.
The Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel is getting a major facelift.
Across the Pond
To proclaim that the fine the UK Gambling Commission hit Entain with this week is akin to waxing that NHL player and BetMGM ambassador Connor McDavid skates with some pace. The announcement from the commission includes a mention that the company could lose its licence if there are “further serious breaches”. The company (which owns Bwin, BetMGM and Ladbrokes among its many brands) responded by saying it’s been better on social responsibility and anti-money laundering initiatives since 2020.
Online gambling operator Smarkets is getting a whack of ye olde cricket bat across both wrists from the UK Gambling Commission for anti-money laundering and social responsibility issues.
Ted Orme-Clay at SBC News interviewed two executives at Parimatch Tech, the betting operator and supplier founded in Kyiv, about its business and the impact of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Lord Austin of Dudley (yes, that’s correct) believes that UK betting shops provide the same comfort to customers as a local pub or coffee house does to their visitors.
Better Change has unveiled a new responsible gambling tool.
It’s too early for Oktoberfest, but there’s a gaming conference and expo taking place in Germany next month.
To invest or not to invest in Macau’s gambling scene right now, that is the question.
The CEO of Delasport was interviewed about the robust Romanian gaming industry.
An Australian casino operator has lost a lawsuit against two customers who received a ban on allegations of cheating.
Oddin.gg has raised just over $7 million in a Series A funding round.
A collaboration of the cool kind between Complexity and the Denny’s Restaurant chain to support girls and women in the gaming and esports industry.
FaZe Clan reported a net loss of just over $9 million in its first release of earnings since becoming a publicly listed company.
A must read on GGB News about the need to do more in the UK and U.S. when it comes to responsible gambling and helping problem gamblers.
JohnWallStreet at Sportico has an explainer piece on how the co-founders of Betr were able to raise $50 million in a hurry (and during a time when the economy isn’t doing so well).
Bally’s Corporation is donating $600,000 to the International Center for Responsible Gaming.
An excellent read from Heather Fletcher at Bonus.com about some confusion with regards to gambling problem hotlines that has inadvertently resulted in more people seeking help.
Fletcher also wrote that the rumour mill is churning once again around a FanDuel IPO.
Jeff Edelstein at Sports Handle makes his case for U.S. sportsbooks to start sending monthly statements to their customers, as they’re doing in Australia.
On the heels of last week’s announcement about the launch of Betr, Conor Mulheir of iGaming Next spoke with FOTPs Lloyd Danzig, Chris Grove and Benjie Cherniak among others about the potential in the wagering game around micro-betting.
Ryan Butler, who joined iGaming Next recently, dug into a Kambi report released this week that includes mention of the rise in single-game parlays on NFL games via the company’s betting platforms in the U.S.
Kinectify, which we profiled in The Company Line last week, announced yesterday it had raised a preferred seed round that includes participation by several big players in the gaming industry.
Jason Sobel at Action Network wrote about the many layers around the penalty issued against Cameron Smith at last weekend’s FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament.
Coming soon to a screen near you: Bally Sports+.
A bill to legalize igaming in Uruguay is moving ahead.
Vivid Seats has created an app that incorporates ticketing with gamification, including fantasy sports.
Dean Sisun and Jake Benzaquen of Prophet Exchange joined Jesse Learmonth on the latest Betting Startups Podcast.
Peru’s online gambling and sports betting legislation has been passed into law.
From the Department of Learning Something Every Day: apparently you have to list any scars you have on your body when applying for a gaming licence.
And finally, can’t put it any better than the headline on this story: Jason Robins, Twitter burner accounts, and a new school in Pakistan.
Welp, @JasonDRobins didn't have a Twitter burner account, and as a direct result, some 50 kids in Pakistan end up with a brand new school. The craziest story I've ever worked on. sportshandle.com/jason-robins-t… @GazipuraMo @AFrantzie @DraftKingsNewssportshandle.comJason Robins, Twitter Burners, And A New School In PakistanDraftKings’ CEO didn’t have a burner account, but the viral story had quite the unexpected ending for a bunch of kids in Pakistan.
People on the Move
Neil Bancroft has been appointed Head of Gaming at DAZN Bet.
FanDuel has promoted Keith Wall to Vice President - Sports Commercial.
Chris Fargis has departed Boom Entertainment to join Fanatics as its Senior Director Trading Risk.
Former NFL executive Julie Haddon has been hired as Non-Executive Director and Ian Tibot as Chief Product Officer at Future Anthem.
Christina Marie Giuffre has been promoted to VP of Product at Lottoland.
Bob Michniak has also received a promotion, to Associate Director, Accreditation at the Responsible Gambling Council.
Andrew Edwards has a new title at the AGCO: Senior Manager, Digital Product Delivery.
Candace Wong has been promoted at BCLC to Senior Manager, Experience Design.
Felicia Gassen (Chief Administrative Officer), Kathleen Duffy (VP of Project Management Office), Rose Zwirn (SVP, Business Development) and Katie Kuthe (VP of Client Solutions Delivery) have all received promotions at Sightline Payments in an effort to diversity the company’s management.
Michael Rochette has joined theScore as Senior Software Engineer.
Mark Giannantonio is the new president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.
Warren Sharp is joining SportsGrid as its lead pro football analyst.
Yohan Lee has a new gig at Twitter: Director of Content Engagement + Innovation.
Andrew Boehmer has been promoted to Manager, Social Content & Programming at the NHL.
Classified (Jobs) Information
Ontario Racing is seeking an Independent Chair.
UK-based Metric Gaming is looking for a Marketing Director.
Parleh Media Group, owners of this august destination for sports betting/gaming news, has an opening for a Community Manager.
The Associated Press is looking for a sportswriter to cover professional sports and sports betting in Las Vegas.
WynnBET has a whole slew of jobs available in Vegas and Jersey City.
The fledgling XFL has an opening for a Director, Marketing & Content.
About the Numbers
There are just 94 days remaining until the Canadian men’s national team boards a plane to Qatar to take part in just their second-ever FIFA World Cup, and first since 1986.
As a reminder, Canada, who were ranked 43rd in the latest FIFA World Rankings, were drawn into Group F alongside Belgium (ranked No. 2), Croatia (15th), and Morocco (22nd). John Herdman’s 26-player squad will kick off the tournament on Nov. 23 with a tough test vs. the Belgians.
Fans will get one more look at Canada before then as Les Rouges have one more window next month to use as a final tune up to prepare for the upcoming competition.
The team will play a pair of friendlies in Vienna, first facing World Cup hosts Qatar on Sept. 23 and then meeting Uruguay on Sept. 27.
Follow us @GamingNewsCA on Twitter for the latest news on the sports betting and gaming industry. And for our daily picks and other sports video content, visit @theParleh.
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