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BetRivers CEO Has High Hopes on Ontario’s New Regime

Ontario has officially launched its long-awaited online gambling market last week, and CEO of Rush Street Interactive, Richard Schwartz has given his prediction and opinion on the expansion. According to the leader of the company that was approved to join the province’s regulated gaming sector, the regime would be quite prolific for the jurisdiction in the future.

The province’s new and regulated online gaming market came as tremendous news to many gaming brands, who were already eyeing a launch in Canada after the country legalized single-event wagering. Starting from April 4, 2022, licensed gaming operators such as Rush Street Interactive and its BetRivers app can now offer their online products legally in the country’s most populous province.

iCasino Will Outperform Sports Wagers

In his statement, Mr. Schwartz noted that in U.S. jurisdictions where both online casinos and sports betting are legal, two-thirds of the revenue generated is from iCasino offerings. The CEO of the Illinois-based company admits that sportsbooks are more exciting, but that at the end of the day online casino is the one that brings the most in tax revenue for jurisdictions.

According to the CEO, there are much more opportunities for an online casino to adjust to its patrons. He said that online casinos can be innovative, while sportsbooks are basically transactional engines that reflect on what has happened on the field or court and fun cannot be manufactured. That is why he predicts that online casinos in Ontario will outperform sports wagers.

He continued by saying that at the start of many U.S. markets the focus was on sports betting but later it would turn to iGaming as many operators start to notice more opportunities in the latter. And speaking on Ontario’s launch he said that the company had a smooth one, despite some slight issues early last week, but they were quickly resolved and the user experience is even better now.

Mr. Schwartz shared that in the first week of operations their BetRivers app collected its largest sports wagering handle from the Masters, as it generated 17% of the total handle. In addition to that, he noted that both the Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays have also caught the eye of many bettors. However, 90% of the total handle was generated under iGaming offerings, with almost half of it in slots.

Market Expectations

This week, Cameron Macdonald of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has shared that he expects big things from Ontario’s new iGaming framework. He believes that the expansion will be able to boost capital market activity as well as consumer engagement. In addition to that, it would also provide more revenue to the province’s coffers, as well as generate much-need jobs for locals.

Recently, PlayCanada has also issued a statement on what consumers and companies can expect from the new market. The website has stated that similarly to U.S. markets where both online offerings are legal, Ontario’s one will be also dominated by iGaming verticals. This is due to the seasonal pauses and flows that occur in the sports thus leading to a decrease in interest among bettors.

Source: Ralph, Dan “BetRivers CEO feels online casinos could be huge boon for Ontario government”, GlobalNews, April 11, 2022