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
- How To Handicap PointsBet’s March Madness-Style Curling Tournament
- CFL Week 16 Wagering Preview: Bad Blood Ahead Of Lions-Stampeders Rematch
- Blue Jays’ Odds Could Worsen With Changes To Canada’s Vaccination Rules
Event of the week
PointsBet Invitational curling tournament
The PointsBet Invitational, a single-knockout curling tournament featuring 32 Canadian teams, got underway Wednesday and will continue through the weekend in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Eight opening-round matchups took place Wednesday, and there has already been a major upset in the women’s bracket after the 13th-seeded Team Sturmay knocked out the fourth-seeded Team Carey.
On Friday night, PointsBet will be hosting a pro-am event that will include several NHL alumni and former sprinter Donovan Bailey, among others.
In addition to being able to wager on the curling action, PointsBet also ran a free bracket contest for residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Heading into play Thursday, 157 brackets remain perfect and are still alive for the $1 million (CAD) prize.
All 10 draws of the PointsBet Invitational are being carried on ESPN3 and on TSN in Canada.
Incredible first day of curling at the @PointsBetCanada Invitational! Shoutout to the teams able to ‘survive & advance’ round one of the March Madness style format.
There are 157 people still in contention for the $1M perfect bracket contest, see where you rank. 👇 pic.twitter.com/ll0AN4dmcm
— PointsBet Canada (@PointsBetCanada) September 22, 2022
Unfortunately, Atlantic Canada appears to be in the path of Hurricane Fiona, a Category 4 storm, this weekend. The curling event runs through Sunday, so the hurricane will likely impact travel plans for fans and participants.
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for #Halifax, Eastern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton & PEI.
Tropical Storm Watches are in place for western Nova Scotia and southeastern New Brunswick. https://t.co/3pvPzwCfXM#nsstorm #nbstorm #pestorm pic.twitter.com/L55GVA6x5K
— Ryan Snoddon (@ryansnoddon) September 22, 2022
Paul Burns snags another award
Canadian Gaming Association President and CEO Paul Burns has been awarded the 2022 Compliance Lifetime Achievement Award by Vixio GamblingCompliance.
The award recognizes an individual who has been involved in the gambling industry for many years and whose input to the advancement of the culture of compliance and regulatory standards within the industry has been outstanding.
Burns played a key role in establishing the CGA — a national trade association that represents leading operators and suppliers in Canada’s gaming, sports betting, esports, and lottery industries — in 2005 and was appointed president and CEO in 2018. He has been responsible for the development of industry-wide research and programs, including a comprehensive study on the economic impact of gaming in Canada and the expansion of the Canadian Gaming Summit conference. Burns also played a major role in the decriminalization of single-game wagering in Canada in August 2021, and he and the CGA supported the launch of Ontario‘s regulated iGaming and sports betting market last April.
“In the past two years, we have seen the results of years of effort to modernize Canada’s sports betting laws as well as Ontario’s launch of Canada’s first regulated iGaming market,” Burns said in the release. “I share this honor with everyone who contributed to these milestone achievements and look forward to helping make Canada’s largest entertainment industry one of the best in the world.”
Burns, who was also inducted into SBC’s Sports Betting Hall of Fame this year, will receive the award at a ceremony on Nov. 30.
— Canadian Gaming Association (@CanadianGaming) September 20, 2022
NorthStar Gaming partners with Genius Sports
Last Thursday, NorthStar Gaming announced a data partnership with Genius Sports.
The partnership will provide the Ontario-based sportsbook with more pre-game and live in-game betting opportunities.
“Genius Sports’ world-class sports data ecosystem integrates seamlessly into our platform, allowing us to provide consumers with a highly interactive, visual, and comprehensive sportsbook experience,” said Michael Moskowitz, CEO and a founding partner of NorthStar Gaming, in the release. “We continue to add enhancements to the NorthStar Bets App to strengthen the user experience and provide consumers with an immersive and premium gaming experience, something we know local players are looking for.”
NorthStar Bets went live in Ontario in early May, and offers sports betting, casino, and live dealer games.
Ahead of the upcoming NHL season, NorthStar Bets is now offering a weekly newsletter from NHL Insider Chris Johnston.
🚨 Inside the NHL: A weekly newsletter from @reporterchris! 🚨
What you'll get each Monday:
– The #ASKCJ Mailbag
– Exclusive content you can't get elsewhere
– Analysis from one of hockey's top Insiders
— NorthStar Bets Sportsbook (@NorthStarBet) September 21, 2022
Ontario market update
It’s been a quiet week in regard to Ontario iGaming licenses.
PressEnter Europe Limited was granted the only Ontario license this week for nitrocasino.ca. 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. Nitro Casino will have to sign an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario before it can launch in the province.
There are several operators that were granted licenses by the AGCO several weeks ago but still aren’t live in Ontario. Pinnacle, Bet99, and betano.ca (Kaizen Gaming) should be launching in the province in the coming days and weeks after getting approval from iGO.
Hello Canada! 🇨🇦
Following license approval, @Pinnacle will soon be available to Ontario bettors.
"We’re excited to take our ‘Winners Welcome’ mantra to the market and take Ontarian betting to the next level”
— Pinnacle (@Pinnacle) September 13, 2022
IGT’s self-serve lottery terminals in Ontario
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has entered into an agreement with IGT Global Solutions Corporation (IGT) to provide for the design and build of approximately 1,400 self-serve lottery terminals to be placed in select lottery retail locations across the province.
OLG will now engage its retail partners, including the Ontario Convenience Store Association, to answer questions and concerns about the future installations of the new lottery terminals, which could happen by the second half of 2023 pending government approvals.
“IGT looks forward to the possibility of introducing our self-serve terminals as OLG responsibly advances the player experience in Ontario,” IGT Chief Operating Officer of Global Lottery Jay Gendron said in the release. “Our self-serve terminals were built on IGT’s decades of experience designing and deploying some of the industry’s most advanced self-service solutions. Self-serve lottery terminals in Ontario would include responsible gambling functionality and AODA-compliant accessibility features to enhance convenience for all lottery players.”
There are over 5,300 OLG lottery retailers in Ontario, which means only a small portion of them will be initially outfitted with the self-serve kiosks.
All proceeds from OLG’s lottery games are reinvested back into provincial programs.
A new era in lottery sales coming to family run convenience stores in Ontario. OLG self-serve kiosks coming to 1,400 Ontario locations by 2023 #lottery #conveniencehttps://t.co/lgmU5ujxEa via @canadadotcom
— OCSA (@OntarioCStores) September 22, 2022
Strive Gaming hires former DraftKings executive
Shea, who previously served as DraftKings vice president of sportsbook operations and vice president of VIP marketing, also managed sportsbooks at the Flamingo, Venetian, Hard Rock, and Station Casino in Las Vegas.
“Following DraftKings … there were many opportunities but nothing is more exciting for me personally than joining Strive Gaming,” Shea said. “There are lots of companies vying for media, investor, customer attention, but when you’ve been part of major U.S. operations, it becomes really easy to identify the businesses that truly have great technology. ”
— Alfonso Straffon 🇨🇷🇺🇸🇲🇽 (@astraffon) September 21, 2022