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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has recently announced its plans to open its doors to iGaming operators beginning April 4, 2022 as part of a broader move to relax gambling restrictions in the province and capitalize on the largely-untapped market of online gambling in Ontario.
As part of this opening, the AGCO has given out licenses to two operators who are also ramping up for a launch in the Canadian market this year: PointsBet and theScore Bet.
PointsBet is an online sportsbook initially established in the United States with a particular focus on providing a fast and smooth online sports betting platform for major American sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, and the MLB. Their high-quality desktop and mobile betting app have allowed them to gain appeal in the US and Australian markets, and the operating license they received from the AGCO is a critical step in their expansion into the Canadian market.
“Since day one, we have remained genuine to our promise of building a Canadian sportsbook, with Canadian employees, for the Canadian market,” says Scott Vanderwel, CEO of PointsBet Canada. “Today’s approval of PointsBet Canada as a licensed sportsbook in Ontario effective 4 April 2022, is a momentous step in unveiling our authentically Canadian gaming experience to the province.”
Chantal Cipriano, PointsBet Canada VP of Legal, Compliance, and People, had the following to add: “We are proud to be one of the first iGaming operators regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. It demonstrates the confidence that regulators have in our ability to deliver an innovative, safe, and responsible experience to Ontario consumers. We look forward to applying our expertise from Australia and the US to help build a trusted, competitive, regulated Ontario gaming market, establishing an important foundation for our nation.”
In the realm of casino operators, meanwhile, TheScore Bet has received the first license to operate from the AGCO. TheScore Bet is an online real money gambling operator with a primary focus on the North American market.
Recently, TheScore Bet was taken under the umbrella of Penn National Gaming after a merger with Barstool Sports in 2021. Penn National is an American online gambling firm with over 44 outlets in the United States providing various gambling channels including both online casinos and sports betting.
As a result of the merger, TheScore Bet has now become part of Penn National’s foray into the Canadian market, now enabled by the operating license awarded to it by the AGCO. However, TheScore Bet does still have other regulatory and operational matters to iron out as the site’s official launch in April 4 draws closer.
CEO of theScore John Levy said of the license: “We’re thrilled to be one of the first operators to receive an internet gaming operator certificate of registration from the AGCO as we prepare for Ontario’s new regulated market. We’ve been and will continue to be at the forefront as regulated internet gaming is introduced in Ontario and are beyond excited to be able to bring TheScore Bet to our home market on April 4. Finally, the countdown to launch has begun.”