PointsBet, theScore secure Ontario's official approval to launch in April
February 8, 2022
Two online sportsbook operators, theScore Bet and PointsBet, have secured key approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
On Thursday, Jay Snowden, the CEO of gaming operator Penn National Gaming Inc., said that the company has been granted an internet gaming license in Ontario.
Last year, theScore Bet was integrated with Penn after purchasing Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc.
TheScore Bet's operations in Ontario will be launched on April 4. However, the company still has various remaining requirements to satisfy before accepting registrations.
"These are two important milestones before theScore Bet can begin operations in the province on April 4, and theScore continues to work to satisfy all remaining requirements including execution of an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario," said Snowden.
The approval of PointsBet Canada, which is based in Toronto, marks a major boost for the company's nascent Canadian division. It will be officially launched on April 4, same with TheScore Bet, in the province of 14.5 million people.
According to Chantal Cipriano, PointsBet's vice president of legal, compliance, and customer service, being one of the first iGaming operators in Ontario is a huge honor. "We are proud to be one of the first iGaming operators regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario," said Cipriano.
"It demonstrates the confidence that regulators have in our ability to deliver an innovative, safe, and responsible experience to Ontario consumers," the vice-president continued.
Sports betting in Canada
Both theScore and PointsBet Sportsbook are already taking bets in the US. However, they're also targeting the biggest market in Canada.
Due to the size of Ontario's population, it's considered an object of interest for sportsbook operators. In partnership with the private sector, this province's government is also planning on creating a market for online sports betting.
Although the regulations in Ontario are similar to those in the US, the laws in Canada will also have small but significant differences for sportsbook operators.
For instance, while most Canadians are expected to place their bets at offshore sportsbooks, they will not be allowed to do so in the provinces.
One of Ontario's iGaming markets goals is to bring more operators to Canada and provide a regulated gaming experience to their customers.
Another key difference between Ontario and the US is the advertising rules for online sportsbooks. In Ontario, the rules only allow operators to promote their products if they can show a customer's consent to receive emails and texts, and there are no signup bonuses.
Putting down Canadian roots
Ever since the provincial government announced in 2021 that it would allow commercial operators to enter the sports betting market, online sportsbooks have been waiting for their chance to operate in Ontario.
According to Penn, the rules in Ontario are in line with the company's plan to grow. The company's other plans in the province are also focused on the digital media app theScore. "Obviously, we're going to be very focused on the conversion of sports media to sports betting," said Snowden.
PointsBet added another partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) in January. A year later, they became the official sports partner of the Canadian Curling Association.