DraftKings announced Wednesday afternoon the launch of its online sportsbook and online casino platforms in Ontario.
More than six weeks after the launch of Ontario’s regulated iGaming and sports betting market on April 4, DraftKings will now be accessible to roughly 15 million Canadians in the province, joining other major operators like bet365, FanDuel, PointsBet, Rush Street Interactive, BetMGM, Caesars, and theScore Bet.
DraftKings, which is a leading sportsbook in many U.S. jurisdictions, is expected to also gain a significant market share in Ontario. In addition to its sportsbook app, DraftKings will offer more than 130 online casino game variations.
“DraftKings’ entry into Canada with our online sportsbook and online casino products is a significant
milestone in our expansion efforts as we reach nearly 40 percent of Canada’s total population,” said
Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder, chairman, and CEO, in a statement. “We look forward to providing the passionate fanbase in Ontario with the most entertaining and responsible gaming experience possible.”
Best Ontario Sportsbooks
The launch doesn’t appear to be going smoothly Wednesday, as the app isn’t downloadable yet in the Google Play store. Some potential users are also reporting issues with the signup process at the sportsbook.
Revenue numbers have not yet been released by Ontario regulators, but app download data suggests Bet365, theScore Bet, and FanDuel have been the most popular sportsbooks in the early days of the market. Canada is unique in that gray market operators had been allowed to do business in the country for many years, giving established sportsbooks like Bet365 a significant advantage in the regulated launch. Pinnacle and Betway are two other gray operators that will be transitioning to the regulated market in the coming weeks and months.
DFS players impacted by launch
DraftKings had sent a memo to its daily fantasy sports players in the province this week, advising them they’ll no longer be able to play both free and paid DFS contests with the operator:
We’re excited to announce that DraftKings will be launching its online sports betting and online casino products in Ontario. The DraftKings Sportsbook and Casino apps will become available for all eligible Ontario users soon.
However, shortly before the launch of Sportsbook and Casino, users physically located in Ontario will be restricted from playing in both free and paid daily fantasy sports contests on DraftKings.
Until that time, you can continue to play daily fantasy sports on DraftKings as normal.
The news likely didn’t come as a surprise to Ontario’s DFS players, as FanDuel previously elected to shut down its DFS operations in Ontario prior to launching on April 4. Regardless, many DFS players took to Twitter to express their frustrations.
— Sam Mendelsohn (@Mendy_Island) May 17, 2022
@DraftKings 6 years of loyalty playing dfs on your platform in Ontario and you take it away just like that. Thanks for nothing
— jeremy4980 (@JeremyWestover) May 17, 2022
“FanDuel and DK could still offer [DFS] but there is no liquidity permitted in Ontario in the new market, which DFS needs to be successful — they could only create pools with Ontario players. Liquidity may be permitted in the future,” Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns previously told US Bets regarding the evolving DFS situation in Ontario.
DraftKings, which is headquartered in Boston and launched in 2012, operates in 18 U.S. states, including nearby New York. DraftKings reported $78.9 million in handle (23.8% of the total) in New York for the week ending May 8, which was second behind FanDuel.