FanDuel and PokerStars, which are owned by Flutter Entertainment plc, have joined forces to strike a a major partnership deal with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, they jointly announced Friday in a press release.
The deal will make FanDuel the official sports betting partner of MLSE, which owns a number of professional sports franchises in the province of Ontario, including the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Argonauts, and Toronto FC. PokerStars will also be designated as an official gaming partner of MLSE, pending successful registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is one of the government regulators for iGaming in Ontario.
Furthermore, FanDuel Sportsbook, PokerStars Casino and PokerStars will all be featured prominently throughout Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors games, including rink-board and on-court signage. The partnership will also allow FanDuel and PokerStars to collaborate on marketing integrations with all of MLSE’s teams.
“The Maple Leafs, Raptors ,and Toronto FC are pioneering franchises and major pillars in Canadian sports culture,” said Dale Hooper, general manager for FanDuel Canada, in the release. “As we bring FanDuel to Ontario, we want to collaborate with globally recognized enterprises like MLSE to bring unique content experiences to some of Canada’s most dedicated sports fans.”
FanDuel, which launched in Ontario on April 4, also announced deals earlier this week with TSN and the NHL in Canada. The sportsbook already has multiple partnerships with sports teams and broadcasters in neighboring New York state, including MSG Network and the New York Knicks, the New York Liberty, and the Buffalo Bills. In November 2021, FanDuel also extended its partnership with the NBA, a relationship that has been in place for over seven years. As for the NFL, FanDuel is one of three sportsbooks to partner with the most popular sports league in North America.
PokerStars and MLSE
PokerStars, one of the world’s most popular online poker sites, has dealt more than 225 billion hands since launching in 2001. As previously noted, PokerStars is not yet a licensed iGaming operator in the province of Ontario, but obviously plans to be shortly.
“We have epic plans for our community in Canada, and are excitedly looking forward to creating some incredible experiences in our birth country, when we launch very soon,” Tom Warren, PokerStars marketing director, said in the release. “Partnering with MLSE gives us the opportunity to reach passionate fans across Ontario with a wide remit of poker and casino, heighten experiences wherever we can, and be a part of some major winning moments.”
PokerStars and FanDuel Sportsbook today announced their partnership together with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE)https://t.co/DrrklFbe6x
— PokerStars Blog (@PokerStarsBlog) April 8, 2022
MLSE, one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment companies, is perhaps the most influential partner in Ontario for any sportsbook due to its portfolio of professional sports teams. In addition to the ownership of the aforementioned major professional teams, MLSE also boasts the Toronto Marlies (AHL), Raptors 905 (G-League), the OVO Athletic Centre, Leafs Nation Network, and NBA TV Canada in its portfolio.
“We are thrilled to partner with Flutter Entertainment, a global leader and one of the most trusted operators in the sports betting industry,” said Jordan Vader, MLSE’s senior vice president of global partnerships. “As the online gaming markets open in Ontario, we have worked hard to find partners who aligned with both our vision for innovation, and our values including a shared commitment to responsible gaming. We look forward to working with Flutter and providing a platform for them to engage with the millions of 19+ Ontario residents who are fans of our teams.”
Bell Media — which owns TSN and is Canada’s leading content creation company, with assets in television, radio, and digital media — is part of the all-Canadian group that announced the acquisition of MLSE from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in December 2011. Bell and Rogers Communications Inc. have jointly acquired 75% equity ownership in MLSE, and have formed a holding company to govern their combined ownership position.