The Ontario provincial government has yet to release its guidelines for the opening of retail sportsbooks, but a major development was announced Thursday: Kambi Group signed a multiyear partnership with Great Canadian Entertainment to provide its retail sportsbook solutions and betting kiosks for 10 of its casinos in the province.
Great Canadian Entertainment operates 25 gaming, entertainment, and hospitality destinations across Canada, including a dozen casinos in Ontario.
It’s largely unclear at this point which 10 casinos will be outfitted for retail sports betting, but GCE’s newest Ontario casino, Pickering Casino Resort, is a confirmed location. Other GCE properties in Ontario include major casinos such as Casino Woodbine in Etobicoke, Casino Ajax, Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry, and Elements Casino Mohawk in Milton.
No comment was provided by GCE on specific sportsbook locations. This past summer, Great Blue Heron Casino was hiring for sportsbook positions, so it’s one likely destination for a sportsbook.
“The addition of sports betting at 10 of our Ontario-based gaming destinations is an important new amenity, elevating the gaming experience for our guests,” said Tony Rodio, CEO at Great Canadian Entertainment, in a press release. “As the first company to launch this type of product in Ontario, we are thankful for our partnership with Kambi throughout this new venture, as well as the continued support from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and Ontario’s provincial government.”
OLG, the Ontario government, and industry stakeholders are still working on getting the necessary approvals and establishing the legal structure to get retail sports betting up and running in Ontario, outside of OLG’s PROLINE retail product that is already offered at roughly 10,000 retail locations across the province.
There is no timeline for the potential launch of physical sportsbooks in Ontario. There had been optimism they could launch by September, but that goal was not reached.
“Some are working hard to try and get there,” Canadian Gaming Association President Paul Burns previously told Sports Handle. “I understand they’re getting closer to getting agreements in place between OLG and casino operators. I can only hope it’s soon. I think everybody would like to be able to have a sportsbook on their property and offer a sportsbook onsite. Unfortunately, it’s taken too long.”
We are excited to have signed a multi-year partnership with @GRTCanadian, one of the largest gaming and entertainment companies in Canada, to provide our leading on-property sportsbook to 10 of the operator’s casinos in the province of Ontario.https://t.co/tNulhbi7Ej pic.twitter.com/TksobyBjP3
— Kambi (@KambiSports) October 20, 2022
Kambi also working with Niagara casinos
In September, Kambi Group announced it would be expanding its online gambling partnership with Mohegan Gaming to include a retail sports betting platform. A total of 36 sports betting kiosks will be installed across the Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara properties, and there are plans to convert Casino Niagara’s sports bar into a retail sportsbook.
Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara are both owned by the OLG. Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, a developer and operator of entertainment resorts in the U.S., Canada, and South Korea, has managed the day-to-day operations of the two major Niagara Falls casinos since 2019.
Mohegan has been busy hiring for various sportsbook roles over the past few months at its Niagara locations and selected Greg Yott, who previously served as director of cage & coin for the past 26 years at Niagara Casino, as its director for the new sportsbook operations.
Mohegan is still waiting on direction from the OLG and the Ontario government before it can launch a prospective sportsbook.
Built on a cliff overlooking the world-famous Horseshoe Falls, Fallsview Casino Resort is the largest gaming resort facility in Canada with over 3,500 slot machines and 130 gaming tables, in addition to a 372-room hotel.
Kambi is strengthening its partner network through an agreement with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment in Ontario.
— Kambi (@KambiSports) May 3, 2022