Sports Interaction has signed a deal with the National Lacrosse League to become its official Canadian sports betting partner, the NLL announced Friday.
The deal is for one year and includes the rights to in-arena signage and exposure. Sports Interaction will also be featured in TSN’s Game of the Week broadcasts, according to Canadian media analyst Adam Seaborn. There will be no in-game betting integrations.
“We have been developing the NLL sports betting platform as a new line of business throughout the last 20 months and betting partners are a key part of the platform,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said in a press release.
Sports Interaction is operated by Mohawk Online, a socio-economic initiative wholly owned by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, based out of Quebec, Canada, and it is regulated/licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Sports Interaction has been a corporate partner with other Canadian professional sports franchises in the past, including the CFL Ottawa Redblacks and Edmonton Elks and NLL Toronto Rock, among others.
“Lacrosse is part of our heritage and a sport very close to our hearts. For centuries, Mohawks have bet on lacrosse games and we are proud to partner with the NLL and its fans because they share our passion and epitomize everything that is great about the game.” said Dean Montour, CEO of Mohawk Online.
Lacrosse, which originated with Native American Indians, is one of Canada’s national sports (hockey is the other). Canada has five teams competing in the NLL — the Saskatchewan Rush, Halifax Thunderbirds, Calgary Roughnecks, Vancouver Warriors, and Toronto Rock — but Sakiewicz told the Canadian Press in 2019 there’s potential for “seven or eight” Canadian franchises in the league in the future. There are a total of 14 NLL franchises in Canada and the U.S.
Prior to the 2021-22 season, the NLL in October inked a multi-year broadcast and streaming deal with ESPN and its Canadian affiliate, TSN, which will bring increased exposure to the league. Every NLL game will either be streamed or broadcast on ESPN/TSN this season.
Atlantic Lottery Corporation pushing lacrosse
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation, a Canadian organization that provides government-regulated lottery and sports betting games to the Maritime provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador — is offering lacrosse betting for the first time this year as the sport grows in popularity in the region. It appears to be the only provincially run sportsbook offering lacrosse odds in the country right now.
“With our increasing player base and revenues over the past few years, there has been demand to add more sports and the NLL was a natural choice,” ALC sports betting manager Greg Eagles told US Bets. “It is really growing in popularity and easily fills the arena in Halifax. Of course, even the ‘Great One’ (Wayne Gretzky) is in on the action now.”
It's been awhile since bettors could wager on the National Lacrosse League, as the 2020-21 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. @GregwarrenBC previews the league from a betting perspective with the season kicking off Friday: https://t.co/FgFZ27sLw3 pic.twitter.com/bmbVPmoEmf
— US Bets (@US_Bets) December 4, 2021
Gretzky, widely considered the greatest Canadian hockey player, is an investor in the NLL’s new Las Vegas franchise, which is set to debut in the 2022-23 season. The Las Vegas ownership group also includes Canadian NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash and Gretzky’s son-in-law, PGA Tour superstar Dustin Johnson.