9 Online Sportsbooks in Ontario You Might Not Know, But Should

A handful of Toronto-based sportsbooks will go head-to-head with European operators to see who will dominate online sports betting in Ontario.
A pile of red and blue "Hello My Name Is" stickers. The stickers are red and blue. It's the Great Ontario Online Sportsbook Showdown: The Canadian operators vs the European bookmakers. Who will dominate online sports betting in Ontario?
April 15, 2022

One has a cartoon lion for a logo. Another uses a panda.

One allows wagering on eSports like CS:GO, PUBG, and Call of Duty. Another runs a luxurious, members-only club for sports bettors in London that costs nearly $800 a year to be a member.

Four are based in Toronto. Five are not.

Meet the operators who aren’t household names in the US but have set up shop up north, offering online sports betting in Ontario.

Meet the Canadian Sportsbooks

1. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

If any company has home-court advantage in Ontario, it would be the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

Founded in 1975, OLG began offering parlay bets through its PROLINE sports betting platform in 1992. At the time, single-event sports betting was illegal. That changed after the Parliament of Canada passed Bill C-218 in June 2021, which amended Canada’s federal Criminal Code to allow single-event sports wagering. C-218 went into effect two months later.

OLG launched PROLINE+, an online sportsbook that supports single-event sports wagering, on August 27, 2021. A platform similar to the OLG is available in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island through the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC). Both ALC and OLG are Crown corporations in Canada, meaning they are both owned by the Government of Ontario.

2. theScore

On April 4, Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc. — commercially and colloquially known as theScore — launched its theScore Bet sportsbook in Ontario. Three days later, it announced that it had clinched a plum deal — a 10-year exclusive partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays, through which it became the MLB team’s official gaming partner.

CEO John Levy said theScore Bet “is proudly Canadian and we are thrilled to make Canada’s baseball team our long-term partner. This is a foundational partnership with a team and organization that is deeply embedded in our country’s sports culture.”

As a local operator, the opportunity for us to design, build and launch a platform for our home market is very special. Penn National Gaming acquired theScore in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $2 billion in October 2021. theScore’s mobile app is the most popular sports media app in Canada.

3. NorthStar Bets

NorthStar Gaming, also headquartered in Toronto, unveiled its NorthStar Bets brand for online sports betting and casino games on February 25. It announced its successful registration with the AGCO on Thursday and has begun signing up customers as it works toward executing an operating agreement with the iGO.

“As a made-in-Ontario online gaming and sportsbook operator, we’re excited to be awarded our registration as we prepare to launch a locally relevant platform for Ontario gaming enthusiasts to experience,” said CEO Michael Moskowitz. “As a local operator, the opportunity for us to design, build and launch a platform for our home market is very special. We’re proud to call Ontario home and look forward to introducing our content-rich platform to consumers.”

NorthStar Bets has retained legendary Canadian sports broadcaster Rod Black as a host and brand ambassador.

4. Rivalry Corporation

Another Toronto-based firm, Rivalry Corporation, launched its eponymously-named sports betting platform on April 4. Rivalry is also unique in that it offers players to bet on eSports, “which is especially popular with the younger Millennial and Gen Z demographic,” the company said in a statement the day of launch.

Rivalry added that eSports was its largest revenue segment for sports betting.

“We are aiming to be the sportsbook for the next generation through engaging content and innovative experiences that entertain and create loyal fans of Rivalry who come back for more,” said Rivalry CEO Steven Salz. “To launch in our home market feels like a dream come true, and a very significant milestone in our creation of a leading global brand.”

The Europeans Arrive, Again

5. Coolbet

Then there’s the operators from across the pond.

Coolbet is headquartered in Estonia and holds global gaming licenses in its home country, as well as in Malta and Sweden. It previously offered sports betting to Ontarians through its Malta license, but it exited the grey market to launch in Ontario’s regulated space on April 4. The operator also ceased offering online poker when it made the switch.

Last December, Coolbet was acquired by Irvine, CA-based GAN Limited, a B2B supplier of internet gaming SAAS in the US. Financial details were not disclosed, nor was the identity of the seller — in a statement, GAN identified the seller as a “leading US B2C operator of iGaming and online sports betting.”

“This B2C operator in the US is a leading operator and wishes to remain anonymous until they receive the requisite operating license in Ontario,” GAN CEO Dermot Smurfit said at the time.

6. bet365

bet365, a global gaming giant headquartered in the UK, made a similar move. The European operator was previously available to customers in Ontario through its global gaming license in Gibraltar, but like its counterparts, it exited the unregulated space to comply with a directive to do so by provincial regulators.

While its application with the AGCO lists a registered domain for poker, bet365 has, to date, not made its poker platform available in the province. That has put a damper on hopes that bet365, which offers poker worldwide, would do the same in Ontario despite it being a segregated market.

7 & 8. LeoVegas & Royal Panda

Sweden’s LeoVegas AB has also exited the grey market in Ontario. The company has two branded sportsbooks deployed in the province — LeoVegas and Royal Panda. Both brands received iGaming licenses from the AGCO on March 10.

“The permit enables LeoVegas Group to continue offering casino, live casino, and betting in Ontario under the LeoVegas and Royal Panda brands,” the company said in its annual report for 2021, which also addresses sustainability.

The Toronto Fitzdares Club will provide members a homely yet luxurious setting to watch live sport, complemented by legendary British hospitality. According to LeoVegas, Canada accounted for 13% of the company’s revenue in January 2022. The company added that about 35% of its Canadian revenue was generated in Ontario.

9. Fitzdares

London-based Fitzdares is signing up customers in Ontario and announced at the end of March that it plans to launch in the province over the summer. Canada will be the third country in which the bookmaker operates — it is also active in the UK and Ireland.

Fitzdares was founded in 1882. Its flagship members-only club, where annual membership costs about $785, is located in the Mayfair section of London. It plans to open a similar club in Toronto in 2023. “The Toronto Fitzdares Club will provide members a homely yet luxurious setting to watch live sport, complemented by legendary British hospitality.”

Learn more about these operators and more in pokerfuse’s complete guide to the Best Ontario Sportsbooks »

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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