Six weeks into Ontario’s regulated online gaming and betting market, perhaps the biggest missing name has finally joined the throngs.
DraftKings officially went live in the province on May 18, becoming the latest operator rivalling Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in the regulated market after NorthStar Bets launched last week. It will offer sports betting as well as over 130 online casino game variations through DraftKings Casino.
“DraftKings’ entry into Canada with our online sportsbook and online casino products is a significant milestone in our expansion efforts as we reach nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s total population,” DraftKings co-founder, chairman and CEO Jason Robins said in a statement. “We look forward to providing the passionate fanbase in Ontario with the most entertaining and responsible gaming experience possible.”
The operator was approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for a licence earlier this week and has now executed an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO).
The US market giant is the 37th application approved in the province but only the 12th operator to be approved for a two-year licence, with all others except the provincial lottery being approved for only one year.
As of May 19, the following privately operated gaming and betting sites are live in the regulated Ontario market, rivalling OLG:
DraftKings has been possibly the most notable absentee from Ontario thus far while its rivals have hit the market early. The company had said at the start of May, at the time it completed its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, that it expects to be live in the province before the end of Q2 2022
At that time, Robins had said that the company did not believe the timing of its launch would have any impact on the share it would be able to achieve in Ontario, due in no small part to the longtime presence of grey-market (now black-market) operators.
DraftKings had recently pulled its Daily Fantasy Sports product from the market because of liquidity pooling restrictions.
Meanwhile, other notable names such as Connecticut-based tribal outfit Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment have also received their AGCO license. Mohegan announced recently it will launch a PlayFallsview online brand in Ontario, powered by Kambi.