Insiders place their bets on Canada’s 2022 sports gambling landscape

A list of sports betting operators is waiting for one of North America’s largest gambling markets to light the Open sign. Professional sports leagues, teams, and media companies are forecasting the anticipated rush of money through advertising and marketing offerings.

The prize for the operators is to land customers in the new Canadian version of the sports betting business as fans try to learn the differences between the players’ parlays, money lines and accessories.

And those same fans could bet on a game of pickleball or cornhole.

In the summer, the federal government gave its approval to an amendment to the Penal Code that gives the provinces the power to license and regulate their own single-event betting markets and online games. Before this radical change, legal sports betting was limited to provincial lottery corporations, while unlicensed gray market sportsbooks continued to operate.

However, more changes are coming, so Star asked industry experts to grab their crystal balls or pull out their wish lists, with their sights set on a rapidly evolving market in 2022.

  • Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association: “There is great potential for the Canadian gaming industry. It should be recognized that sports betting and iGaming is an industry that can provide great economic opportunity in this country, and not just tax revenue. “
  • Shelley White, Executive Director of the Responsible Gaming Council: “There is going to be an increase in gambling ads as operators enter Ontario. We have had discussions with regulators and operators to ensure adequate safeguards are in place to support the public and prevent harm caused by gambling. “
  • Dave Pridmore, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, Ontario Lottery Corporation: “I am looking forward and excited for 2022. We are pretty confident that we are acquiring gray market customers (because) our retail sports betting continues to be healthy while our digital platform is growing.”

  • Amanda Brewer, Country Manager for Kindred Group’s New Canadian Online Gambling Business: “In 2022, we will have three provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta) with different models of sports betting and that is a great achievement. It will be interesting to see how these models work and if other provinces will join them. “
  • Johnny Avello, Director of Sports Betting and Racing Operations at DraftKings: “Canada does everything the United States does when it comes to gambling. Although the major sports have the biggest impact, we would like to expand the menu. Sports like cornhole and pickleball may start to emerge. “
Betting on pickleball?  It could happen when Canada's sports gambling market expands in the coming months.
  • Steve Rapp, Canadian offline marketing manager at Sports Interaction, licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission: “My wish is that we obtain a fair and balanced way of marketing ourselves. It has been difficult not being able to say what we are doing and not being able to offer our products in the same way that government lotteries do ”.
  • Nic Sulsky, Commercial Director of PointsBet Canada: “As we work towards opening the market, my bold prediction for 2022 is that competition will be fierce outside the gates, and while some (bookmakers) will spend more than others, or some will seek to take advantage of previous gray and illegal market operations. , no company will eclipse a market share of 20% or more. “
  • Scott Burton, CEO of Vancouver-based FansUnite Entertainment: “My biggest concern… is a lot of confusion in the market across the country, which will hurt existing legal operators in other provinces more than it will help keep the money in the ecosystem. We are already seeing overseas brands (gray market) taking over the mailers and accepting Canadian bets from people who probably think they have the proper license since C-218 was approved, Ontario announced its opening and the fact that leagues and teams are taking their sponsorship. Dollars “.
  • Meghan Chayka, Co-founder of Stathletes: “I hope that in 2022 there will be more innovation in Canadian sports, and I am definitely focusing on hockey, especially in Ontario. Combining traditional and social media with sports betting will be key to creating more engaging hockey content. “
  • Jeff Harris, Founder and Leader of Deloitte Canada’s Sports Business Advisory Group: “You will see a greater convergence of sports betting and the media, but you will need to be aware of oversaturation and fatigue when it comes to live broadcasts.”
  • Benjie Cherniak, Investor and Sports Betting Advisor: “Ontario will be an absolute rocket ship from the start. Look at the size of the market along with the backlog of legalized games, the appetite for it, this being the first market to launch in Canada, and the number of sports teams in the area. “

  • Chris Grove, sports betting entrepreneur: “I see expansion as the big story in 2022. We will continue to see access to legal and regulated gambling expand in the US and Canada. But we will also see sports betting providers and operators expand in size, perhaps dramatically, through a combination of aggressive spending and widespread M&A activity. “


Steve McAllister is the editor-in-chief of The Parleh sports betting newsletter. Freelance Star’s Sports contributor, lives in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @StevieMacSports


The conversations are the opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of conduct. The Star does not endorse these views.

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