DraftKings announces launch of sports betting in Ontario after ending DFS contests

The company’s arrival could boost competition in Ontario, where more than a dozen online sportsbooks were already accepting bets.

Last updated: May 18, 2022 1:50 pm ET
Reading time: 2 minutes

DraftKings Inc. announced Wednesday the launch of online casino games and sports betting in Ontario, ending more than a month of speculation and closing the door on the company’s daily fantasy contests in Canada’s most populous province for the moment.

The Boston-based bookmaker joins Ontario’s internet gambling market weeks after its usual competitors entered, as the province’s new regulatory framework took effect on April 4.

Still, DraftKings is one of the largest online sports betting and daily fantasy operators in the United States. The company’s addition to an iGaming market in a province whose population would make it the fifth largest state in the US. could intensify competition in Ontario, where more than a dozen online bookmakers they were already taking bets.

“DraftKings’ entry into Canada with our online casino and sports betting products is a significant milestone in our expansion efforts as we reach nearly 40 percent of Canada’s total population,” said Jason Robins, co-founder, President and CEO of DraftKings, in a Press release. “We look forward to providing Ontario’s passionate fan base with the most entertaining and responsible gaming experience possible.”

What is the rush?

Ontario’s competitive market for legal sports betting is unique in Canada. In all other provinces, the only legal Internet gambling providers remain government-owned lottery and gaming companies.

It was only recently that DraftKings received key regulatory approval to debut its online sports book in Ontario, but the company seemed in no rush to do so in the first place.

Robins told analysts and investors earlier this month that DraftKings doesn’t think the timing of its launch in Ontario will have a big impact on the market share it can get, citing the long-standing presence of gray market operators in the province. .

The company said Wednesday that eligible customers in Ontario can now access its betting markets by downloading the DraftKings mobile apps.

The launch of DraftKings online sports book in Ontario also comes as the company has blocked users in the province from participating in its daily fantasy sports contests.

DraftKings said that starting Tuesday morning, users will only be able to play their DFS contests when outside of Ontario and in eligible Canadian provinces and US states. Customers in Ontario now receive a message telling them that ” due to your current location”, cannot participate in contests.

The decision is due to provincial iGaming regulations which, among other things, require all players to be in the province.

Other DFS operators have also stopped offering contests in Ontario, including DraftKings’ main rival FanDuel, which could upset thousands of fantasy gamers in the province. Like DraftKings, FanDuel now offers online sports betting in Ontario.

“While we know this is unfortunate news for our passionate daily fantasy sports players, we will continue to work with the provincial government to try and bring daily fantasy sports back to Ontario as soon as possible,” DraftKings said in a recent message. to users in the province.


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