Each Thursday, Sports Handle recaps all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlights the event of the week, and takes a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.
Our top Canadian sports stories this week
- Ontarians Wager $6 Billion (CAD) Across Mobile Sports, Casino, Poker In Q2
Game of the week
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs — Oct. 16
Canada’s adopted NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, will be out for revenge Sunday afternoon when visiting the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of last year’s AFC Divisional Round clash.
The Bills are 3-point road favorites heading into the highly anticipated matchup between two of the best offenses in the NFL. Oddsmakers at bet365 have posted a lofty total of 54, the highest of all the Week 6 games.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs boast the NFL’s top-ranked offense, averaging 31.8 points per game, while Josh Allen and the Bills are a close second at 30.4 points per game. Despite their impressive attacks, however, the two teams’ games have been a combined 4-6 surpassing the over/under total.
The Bills have the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl at +350 while the Chiefs aren’t far behind at +600.
Buffalo’s futures odds could get even shorter if the team can land stud running back Christian McCaffrey in a potential trade to bolster its 14th-ranked rushing attack (116.4 yards per game).
LANDING SPOTS for Christian McCaffrey
1. Buffalo Bills
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Denver Broncos
4. San Francisco 49ers
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Washington Commanders pic.twitter.com/stlHBjeZnw
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 11, 2022
BetRivers partners with McCown
The multiyear deal will see McCown become the latest brand ambassador for the Chicago-based online gaming and sports betting operator. He’ll be representing the brand through various commercials and will be providing exclusive content for the BetRivers Network.
McCown, who has hosted popular sports radio shows for major broadcasters like Rogers and TSN in Canada over his roughly 30-year career, is currently running his own daily podcast, The Bob McCown Show featuring John Shannon, across the Sirius XM satellite radio network. This podcast will now air across the BetRivers Network, just in time for the NHL and NBA regular seasons.
The news comes after BetRivers previously locked up two former TSN broadcasters — Dan O’Toole and Natasha Staniszewski — as brand ambassadors following the operator’s launch in Ontario in April.
“We’ve been hard at work since our entry into the Ontario market to build a best-in-class team of brand ambassadors,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI, in a news release. “Bob’s unmistakable voice and brand of top-tier commentary are instantly recognizable to any Canadian sports fan, and we’re incredibly lucky to have him join our growing roster of sports personalities.”
There’s no bigger sports radio personality in Canada than McCown, whose pessimistic and critical attitude toward many Toronto sports teams always riles up his listeners.
— Bob McCown (@FadooBobcat) October 8, 2022
BetMGM’s new hockey ad
Last Friday, BetMGM released its newest hockey ad featuring brand ambassadors Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid.
— BetMGM Canada (@BetMGMCanada) October 7, 2022
McDavid signed with BetMGM in March as one of the first active professional athletes from the four major professional sports leagues to become an ambassador for a sports betting operator. He joined Gretzky, who signed on with the brand in June 2021.
“It’s incredible to showcase two of the greatest hockey players on-screen interacting with one another,” said Raymond Doyle, BetMGM’s vice president of brand, in an email release. “We look forward to entertaining hockey fans during commercial breaks as two of the game’s legends blend sports and entertainment and demonstrate the endless possibilities with BetMGM.”
McDavid exploded for a hat trick and an assist in the Edmonton Oilers’ season opener on Wednesday night. The 25-year-old now has 701 points in just 488 games.
ANOTHER McDAVID MILESTONE 👏
— NHL (@NHL) October 13, 2022
Rivalry teases Q3 financials
On Wednesday, Toronto-based Rivalry released its preliminary Q3 report for the three-month period ending September 30.
The operator is reporting a record betting handle of $70.3 million (CAD) in Q3, up 203% year-over-year and 83% quarter-over-quarter. Revenue also reached record levels at $7.1 million, up %93% YOY and 83% QOQ.
Rivalry, which is known for its comprehensive esports markets, is also reporting that 82% of its active users are under the age of 30.
“We are very well positioned for a strong finish to 2022 and continued momentum into next year,” Rivalry CEO Steven Salz said in the release. “We expect to benefit from a number of near-term catalysts, including several major esports events, a growing presence in traditional sports betting, the launch of a mobile app, and the ongoing introduction of new casino games, media content, and influencer partnerships.”
1/ We just pre-released significant all-time record quarterly #'s. Q3/22 betting handle was $70.3M, +203% YoY, and +83% QoQ, and record rev of $7.1M, +93% YoY, and +35% QoQ. Listing last Oct, our TTM avg. MoM growth rate over that period was +22%. https://t.co/VFfPbW3jzZ
— Steven Salz (@StevenSalz) October 12, 2022
Rivalry’s full Q3 financials will be released by the end of November.
Money laundering in Quebec’s casinos?
The province of Quebec’s casinos and gaming halls are reporting high numbers of suspicious transactions.
Loto-Quebec, which is a government-run corporation responsible for overseeing lottery and gaming in the province, reported nearly $420 million (CAD) in large cash transactions to Canada’s anti-money laundering watchdog over the past six years, according to data obtained by CBC News.
By law, Canadian casinos must report suspicious cash transactions of $10,000 or more to FINTRAC, the national financial intelligence agency of Canada. CBC discovered Loto-Quebec reported roughly 5,000 suspicious transactions a year, or 14 per day, to FINTRAC from 2015-2020.
Loto-Quebec denied CBC’s request for an interview to follow up on details of the findings.
Money laundering through Canadian casinos is a hot topic across the country following the findings of the Cullen Report, which revealed an “astounding amount of money” was laundered through the province of British Columbia‘s casinos between 2008 and 2018.
Experts in the field also believe that Ontario is at high risk for money laundering activities. The Royal Mounted Canadian Police recently laid multiple criminal charges against five individuals after a four-year investigation concluded more than $3 million from the illegal sale of cannabis was laundered through Greater Toronto Area and Niagara casinos.
“If anyone thinks that money laundering just happened to be regional and is west of the Rocky Mountains in B.C., then that’s just naive."
— US Bets (@US_Bets) August 2, 2022
Nitro Casino joins Ontario market
The 43rd regulated online gaming site went live in Ontario on Thursday.
PressEnter Europe Limited, which was granted an Ontario iGaming license in late September for nitrocasino.ca, launched on Thursday.
Headquartered in Malta, PressEnter Group specializes in online casino offerings. According to its website, Nitro Casino was launched in 2020 and features slots and table games from over 50 different providers.
Ontario’s regulators released their Q2 data on Wednesday showing Ontarians wagered over $6 billion (CAD) and the market produced $267 million in total gaming revenue for the period of July 1-Sept. 30.
There are now 25 operators live in Ontario, which has set an Oct. 31 deadline to end the transition period for gray market operators and suppliers.
Kaizen Gaming (Betano), Pinnacle, BetRegal, and Bet99 are expected to join the regulated market shortly.
Congrats! 🏆 PressEnter Europe Limited has joined the Ontario market as a legal and regulated Operator. Their NitroCasino brand offers its customers casino games and live casino options!
— iGaming Ontario (@iGamingOntario) October 13, 2022