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BetRivers Lines Up to Jump into Ontario Sports Betting Market

Mark Keast for Bookies.com

Mark Keast  | 3 mins

BetRivers Lines Up to Jump into Ontario Sports Betting Market

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PROLINE+, currently the lone regulated Ontario sports betting option, is taking bets – more than 3.5 million accepted wagers as of the first week of October. PROLINE+ launched Aug. 27.

The big question for sports betting in Canada, however, is how many of the big international sportsbook operators will apply with the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for licenses in Canada’s most populous province. Thursday’s announcement by Rush Street Interactive and its BetRivers brand shed more light on that.

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Rush Street Interactive Inc., an online casino and sports betting company in the U.S., is entering the Canadian market with the launch of its free-to-play, social gaming platform CASINO4FUN in Ontario, according to a news release. It is available on mobile devices, tablets, desktop computers and laptops through BetRivers.net. You need to be 19 and older to play.

CASINO4FUN uses the same technology behind Rush Street’s real-money platform, with more than 350 slot machines and table games, and an online sportsbook where fans can experience single-game betting and parlay bets on sports leagues worldwide, the release said.

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Real-Money Casino, Sports Betting

Rush Street said it expects to offer real-money online casino and sports betting in Ontario under its BetRivers brand, subject to licensing and regulatory approvals, “in the coming months,” the release said. And that’s the multi-million-dollar question — the “when” and “how many” sportsbooks will be entering a regulated, competitive Ontario marketplace.

CASINO4FUN will allow Rush Street to build its brand and player database – a nice, paved runway for when its sports betting app licensing eventually arrives.

“CASINO4FUN offers our community of players the same high level of entertainment and customer service of RSI’s real-money gaming platform, delivered in a casual and free-to-play setting,” Richard Schwartz, chief executive officer of Rush Street, said in the release.

Rush Street focuses on regulated markets in the U.S. and Latin America through its BetRivers and SugarHouse brands and is currently operating in 11 states where online casinos and sportsbooks are regulated. It is conducting a soft launch in Connecticut for SugarHouse.

What’s Next in Ontario?

In Ontario, once the government/iGaming Ontario confirms tax rates and a launch day for an open market, there should be a major uptick in applications for licenses. First companies apply and are granted a license with the AGCO. Then they enter into a commercial agreement with iGaming Ontario – a subsidiary of the AGCO.

IGaming Ontario is a separate entity that’s charged with conducting and managing Ontario’s open, regulated and competitive internet gaming market. According to a recent study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and Parleh Media Group, a regulated Ontario online sports betting and online casino and poker market will be worth $2.2 billion CAD at maturity.

About the Author

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.