This week, Ontarians learned the name of one more gambling brand that will be allowed to enter the province’s regulated iGaming and mobile sports betting landscape. The latest operator to join is Check Group which has now secured an affiliate license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to legally launch its FlashPicks in the jurisdiction.
Ontario kicked off its provincially-run digital market for private gambling and sports betting operators on April 4, 2022. The sector is the first of its kind across the country, and its aim is to stop locals from pouring millions of dollars into foreign illegal websites. For its three months, the market has generated a hefty handle of more than CA$4 billion.
Licensed by the AGCO
Via its affiliate license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, Checkd Group is now eligible to launch its FlashPicks brand into the province’s gaming sector. Ontario bettors will be soon able to visit FlashPicks which will give them access to direct links to betting websites that have also been licensed to operate in the new and local market.
In addition to its Ontario license, the company also announced the appointment of Callum Broxton as its head of US operations. He is more than capable of handling his new role, as he transitions from spending the last six years with Checkd’s division. There he served as head of social, head of brand operations and commercial manager.
Mr. Braxton commented that Ontario is an important sports betting jurisdiction and it is one which abides by a high standard of regulatory requirements. He added that the license for the province is a major milestone for the company, which further confirms the brand’s rapid success since the launch of its FlashPicks platform in numerous U.S. markets this year.
In addition to Checkd Group, on Monday, September 12, 2022, Pinnacle has also informed the industry that it will be debuting in Canada’s most populous province. The company is the latest operator to make the shift from the grey market and it will now launch its mobile sportsbook services to the regulated market. It will be accessible to locals on Pinnacle.ca.
First Quarter Results
After a long wait, at the end of August 2022, iGaming Ontario issued its first fiscal numbers on the new market. However, the initial numbers are slightly lower than the project ones. According to the report, for the first three months, operators had a wagering handle of over CA4 billion, but only CA$162 million in tax revenue. The numbers are expected to increase as more operators have joined since then.
It is also anticipated that at the start the market will be dominated by former-grey market operators, as they are already quite popular among local bettors. Sports Interaction which has been live in the province for over two decades has also made the switch as it has been licensed by the AGCO. It is run by Mohawk Online, which is a socio-economic initiative wholly owned by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
Source: Fletcher, Robert “Checkd Group continues North American expansion with Ontario licence” iGB, September 13, 2022