Online sports betting in Ontario and iGaming in Ontario kicked off Monday with a morning celebration at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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“We’re looking forward to what lies ahead,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. Burns hosted a panel discussion minutes before the stock market opened Monday morning.
Burns said 30 gambling operators have applied for licenses in Canada’s largest province. More than a dozen were ready to launch Monday or soon after.
These operators are:
- Bet Rivers
- king panda
- the score
Other game operators, including DraftKings, are expected to be operational in Ontario soon.
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Sports betting, online casino games now legal
As of Monday, bettors in Ontario were allowed to download private sector apps and began placing single match bets on sporting events.
Gamblers can also now download commercial apps and bet on casino games such as poker, slots and blackjack.
Betting Options Await Ontario Bettors
Among the sports betting options this week is Monday’s March Madness title game between the Kansas Jayhawks and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Also this week, bettors can bet on the Masters golf tournament, starting on Thursday.
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A full slate of NHL games is on view this week. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in Florida for the next two nights, playing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs then travel to Texas to face the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Major League Baseball’s regular season begins this week. That includes the Toronto Blue Jays’ season opener starting Friday against the Texas Rangers.
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors have three home games scheduled for the week. The Raptors host the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets.
“Big day” for Ontario punters
Monday’s launch was enthusiastically received across the industry.
Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada, said Monday is a “big day for Ontario sports fans.”
He noted that PointsBet Canada was one of the first private sportsbooks to accept legal betting in Ontario, with a bet placed “just 50 seconds” after midnight ET.
Award-winning sports betting with large Canadian sports markets
A bettor using a PointsBet Canada platform bet $500 on North Carolina vs. Kansas and the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning in a two-inning bet, Vanderwel said.
Ontario’s second largest betting market in North America
With more than 14.5 million inhabitants, Ontario would be the fifth largest American state, just behind New York. The Empire State has a population of approximately 19.5 million.
Sports betting is legal in New York but does not happen legally in the three most populous states. These states, in order of population size, are California, Texas, and Florida.
This makes Ontario the second most populous betting market in North America.
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Previous bets only allowing government agencies
Sports betting has been legal in Canada since 1985, but only through each province’s lottery system.
Single match betting was not permitted, although punters could place parlay bets. In Ontario, those bets until Monday only could be placed through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Monday’s launch allows non-government businesses to compete for Ontario customers who want to use mobile devices to bet on sports and play casino games.
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