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
- FanDuel Leveraging Partnership With TSN To Bring Sports Betting Mainstream
- CFL Week 20 Wagering Preview: Last Chance For Elks To Halt Embarrassing Home Losing Streak
- Raptors Season Wagering Preview: Can Toronto Surprise Oddsmakers Again?
Events of the week
There’s no better time of the year for baseball fans and bettors than October.
The New York Yankees and Houston Astros will play Game 2 of their best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Thursday night.
Houston took Game 1 on Wednesday by a score of 4-2 thanks to a spectacular performance from starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who struck out 11 batters over six innings while allowing just a single run to the loaded Yankees lineup.
Houston is now -340 to win the series at DraftKings and a -155 favorite in Game 2 when it sends lefty Framber Valdez to the mound to battle New York’s Luis Severino.
In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres split the first two games of their series, and the scene shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 of the NLCS on Friday.
DraftKings has the Padres -115 and Phillies -105 to win the series, and both are -110 for Friday night’s game, when the Padres send Joe Musgrove to the hill to battle Ranger Suarez.
Houston has the shortest World Series odds (+105), followed by San Diego (+340), Philadelphia (+380), and New York (+600).
— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2022
Betano now live in Ontario
Kaizen Gaming’s Betano brand launched in Ontario this week.
One of the fastest-growing operators internationally, Kaizen Gaming is also operating in 10 countries in Europe and Latin America, including Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Portugal, and Brazil under the Stoiximan and Betano brands.
Kaizen Gaming was the winner of the 2022 Southern European Operator of the Year Award at the recent SBC Summit in Barcelona, as well as a recipient of several EGR Operator Awards, including Mobile Operator of the Year and Football Betting Operator of the Year.
The operator hired veteran iGaming executive Kris Abbott, formerly of Coolbet Canada, as its country manager for Canadian operations in September. He believes the Betano product has the potential to thrive in Canada — particularly in greater Toronto — with its comprehensive soccer offerings and iCasino platform.
There are now over 40 live online gambling sites in Ontario’s regulated market.
Congrats! 🏆 Kaizen Gaming Canada Inc. has joined the Ontario market as a legal and regulated Operator. Their Betano brand offerings include casino games, live casino and a sportsbook.
— iGaming Ontario (@iGamingOntario) October 19, 2022
Pinnacle to launch Oct. 26 in Ontario
Pinnacle is less than a week away from joining Ontario’s regulated sports betting market.
The operator announced in an email press release that the Pinnacle.ca website will go live next Wednesday.
Pinnacle, which has been operating across Canada and in Ontario in the gray space for many years, received its iGaming license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario last month. Existing gray market operators have until Oct. 31 to join Ontario’s regulated market, or they must shutter operations in the province until they’re licensed.
Pinnacle.ca will go live initially with sports and esports betting. Casino gaming will be available at a later date.
“We want to give our customers a true and unique betting experience,” said Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith in the release. “At Pinnacle.ca, that means great odds on the sports Ontario bettors care about, a strong focus on responsible gambling, and the welcoming of both recreational customers and the sharpest professionals around.”
Ontario is Pinnacle’s first gaming license in a regulated North American jurisdiction. The operator has a reputation for offering some of the lowest-margin odds in the industry while offering many betting lines.
Like other previously gray operators to join Ontario’s regulated market, Pinnacle will need to settle all bets with its existing customers prior to launch. Pending futures bets with a settlement date of Oct. 26 or later will be canceled and stakes will be refunded to Ontario customers.
Heads up Ontario bettors with pending futures at Pinnacle: pic.twitter.com/ChgEmOggDK
— Plus EV Analytics (@PlusEVAnalytics) October 18, 2022
Clock is ticking in Ontario
As previously mentioned, the transition period for unregulated operators and suppliers in Ontario will end on Oct. 31.
If operators aren’t ready to go live by Oct. 31, they must cease all activities in the province until authorized by the AGCO and iGaming Ontario.
Most operators that have been through the licensing process with Ontario’s regulators are reporting the process takes three to six months. For operators and suppliers that have not yet applied for Ontario registration, this new Standard, which was formally amended on Oct. 4, provides a major deterrent for them to enter the market.
Operators that are registered with the AGCO, but are not yet ready to go live on Oct. 31, will still have to cease operations in the province until they’re ready to launch. As of Thursday afternoon, operators like Betsafe and Bet99 are in this exact predicament. They must now rush to launch before Oct. 31 or face significant business interruptions after that date.
BetRegal announced its intentions to join the regulated Ontario market back in April, but the operator is still not licensed with the AGCO and does not have an operating agreement with iGO.
Any illegal online gaming site operating after Oct. 31 would be deemed to be breaking Canadian law and may be hearing from the Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB), which is composed of Ontario Provincial Police officers and is fully integrated as a bureau within the AGCO.
Bet99, a longtime operator in Ontario's grey market, has received its license from the AGCO to begin full operations in the province's regulated sports betting market:https://t.co/DdyXj0IHrr
— Gaming Business (@CdnGamingBiz) September 6, 2022
AGCO wins international award
The AGCO has won the award for Regulatory Excellence at the International Association of Gaming Regulators conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Ontario’s regulator took home the award for its work in establishing an outcomes-based regulatory framework for iGaming in Canada’s largest province. The regulated market in Ontario launched on April 4, and licenses from the AGCO allow operators to offer online sports betting, esports, and iCasino products.
Other award winners included the National Indian Gaming Commission (United States) for Regulatory Innovation and the Office of Responsible Gambling (New South Wales) for Best Regulatory Campaign.
“The winning entries are wonderful examples of teams across the globe who work tirelessly to set new standards in regulation in the ever-changing gambling landscape,” said IAGR President Jason Lane in the release.
Although the AGCO has been praised for its Ontario rollout, there have also been several criticisms surrounding its strict advertising rules and leniency towards existing gray market operators, among other issues.