Each Thursday, Sports Handle will recap all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlight the Game of the Week, and take a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.
Our top Canadian sports stories this week
- Why are Ontarians betting more on basketball than hockey?
- CFL Week 3 wagering preview: Lions roar into home date with Argonauts
- Bet99 is set to merge with Kings Entertainment
Event of the week
NBA Draft — Thursday, June 23
The sports world’s focus will shift back to basketball Thursday night, as the 2022 NBA Draft will take place in Brooklyn.
Some mock drafts have four Canadians — Shaedon Sharpe, Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, and Caleb Houstan — projected to be drafted this year, and two of them (Sharpe and Mathurin) are projected to be top 10 selections.
The Toronto Raptors, Canada’s only NBA team, hold only one second-round pick in the draft, after the team traded away its first-round pick when it acquired Thad Young from the San Antonio Spurs in February. However, the Raptors do have a pick early in the second round, at No. 33 overall.
Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris Haynes reported Wednesday the Portland Trail Blazers are interesting in acquiring Raptors forward OG Anunoby and that they’d be willing to include the No. 7 pick in a potential deal.
Ontario sportsbooks are offering many Canadian-related props for Thursday draft, including over/unders on the number of Canadians drafted in the first round, who the first Canadian off the board will be, and how many Canadians will be selected in the top 10, among other markets.
The #NBADraft takes place tomorrow night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
We have a wide offering of picks for the event including first round totals, player draft position and more.
You can find all our offers here👇https://t.co/ddRbHoKntC#NBA75 pic.twitter.com/YyAeAkXH4L
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) June 22, 2022
CGA responds to BC casino money laundering report
The Canadian Gaming Association, a national trade organization that represents leading operators and suppliers in Canada’s gaming, sports betting, eSports, and lottery industries, responded Friday to the release of a bombshell report that an “astounding amount of money” was laundered through British Columbia casinos between 2008-2018.
In an email release, the CGA thanked Commissioner Austin Cullen for his extensive report and recommendations and reiterated the organization’s commitment to “rigorous regulatory oversight” moving forward.
“The Canadian gaming industry is committed to working with all stakeholders and policy makers at the federal and provincial levels of government to continue to enhance our comprehensive and effective AML regime in Canada, leverage advances in technology, and utilize payment technology to provide a safe playing environment.”
The CGA is calling for increased efforts from law enforcement, particularly the Royal Mounted Canadian Police, to monitor anti-money laundering (AML) issues more closely, and the organization is also looking forward to continue collaborating with FINTRAC (the national financial intelligence agency of Canada) and provincial gaming agencies to ensure the Canadian public can have confidence in the gaming industry.
OLG partners with NBA
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and PROLINE announced another major partnership Wednesday.
With partnerships already secured with MLB, the NFL, and the NHL, OLG is now an official partner of the NBA in Ontario, after securing a multiyear deal.
The new deal will allow PROLINE + bettors the opportunity to wager on Thursday’s NBA Draft for the first time.
The NBA and OLG already had an existing relationship and have been co-branding experiences to fans for years, including NBA Winners’ Corner, an immersive fan event that offers custom basketball-themed activations, inspired by the rich history of the NBA Finals and the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
PointsBet Canada is bringing March Madness to Canada, curling style.
The inaugural PointsBet Invitational will take place in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from Sept. 21-25 at Willie O’Ree Place, it was announced Monday.
The event will feature both men’s and women’s teams and will kick off the 2022-23 curling season in Canada. The bonspiel will also debut a new format to Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, which will feature 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams competing in a single-knockout tournament. The purse will be in excess of $350,000.
“The drama and emotion of a single-knockout bracket tournament is well-chronicled in sports such as tennis and the NCAA basketball championships, and we expect our new event to bring that kind of passion and excitement to curling,” said Katherine Henderson, CEO of Curling Canada, in the announcement. “It’s also a chance for us to showcase our partnership with PointsBet, and, happily, finally bring a major championship to Fredericton, after a couple of disappointing years of cancellations due to the pandemic.”
Teams will earn $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win, and $24,000 will go to the victorious women’s and men’s teams.
The participating teams are still being finalized, but many of the top-ranked Canadian curling teams are expected to be in attendance.
Additionally, on Sept. 23, following the “Elite Eight” rounds in both genders, there will be a Celebrity Invitational event, which will feature numerous Canadian celebrities participating with elite curlers in exhibition games. Given PointsBet’s previous strategic Canadian partnerships, numerous NHL alumni and the Trailer Park Boys could participate.
Kudos to @CurlingCanada for having the Stones to do this with us! 🥌🥌
Heads up Fredericton – The @PointsBetCanada Invitational is coming! 🔥🤘https://t.co/UJOPAnbz5i
— Nic Sulsky (@nicsulsky) June 20, 2022
BetRegal partners with Tiger-Cats
On Thursday, BetRegal announced a partnership with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
BetRegal, Hamilton Tiger-Cats ink new sports betting fan engagement partnership.
🗞: https://t.co/zZSWnaZfNq#Ticats | #CFL | @betregal pic.twitter.com/OUlA4ss37q
— Hamilton Tiger-Cats (@Ticats) June 16, 2022
The multi-year fan engagement partnership will see BetRegal become an official sportsbook and betting partner of the Tiger-Cats.
“This partnership will help market and promote the Ticats and its players, and to enhance the relationship the team has with its fans,” Mike Mirtl, CEO at BetRegal, said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that fans see sports betting as an extension of their fandom, and BetRegal is looking forward to offering them authentic opportunities both in stadium and online.”
Two-time CFL All-Star and the Ticats’ 24th Wall of Honour inductee, Rob Hitchcock, is now a BetRegal brand ambassador as part of the deal, and he’ll collaborate on a new social media content series focusing on betting education, tips, and insights.
Additionally, BetRegal will become a presenting partner of the “Ticats This Week Show” podcast, which will include insights on betting lines around the league.
BetRegal is the official sports betting partner of the CFL and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Former CFL players Matt Dunigan and Damon Allen are also brand ambassadors.