Seven months after legalizing online gambling, Ontario is launching sports betting lounges across its land-based casinos. In April 2022, the most populous Canadian province opened its online gambling market, which has been rapidly expanding ever since. Now, several brick-and-mortar casinos, operated by Great Canadian Entertainment provide sports betting services that enable Ontarians to wager on sports events at land-based casinos.
At the time of writing, 12 brick-and-mortar casinos offer sports betting on their premises with more land-based establishments expected to follow. In a statement on the matter, the president of Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) Duncan Hannay called the sportsbook's launch “the next phase of growth in Ontario's gaming market”. He pointed out to the benefits that move would bring – namely more jobs and economic benefits to host communities.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, recently rebranded as Great Canadian Entertainment, quickly embraced the opportunity and opened sportsbook lounges in Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry, Pickering Casino Resort, Elements Casino Brantford, and Shorelines Casino Belleville. In addition, it introduced sports betting kiosks at other venues across the province.
Tony Rodio, CEO of the gaming conglomerate, defined the launch of the sportsbook facilities as yet another demonstration of company's efforts to enhance players' overall experience. The Great Canadian Entertainment is also known as a supporter of many charitable organizations, so the launch of the new facilities is expected to help it give back to the communities.
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Great Canadian Entertainment will work in collaboration with Kambi. The latter is known as a leading provider of premium sports betting technology and services. Last month, Kambi announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with Great Canadian Entertainment to supply 10 of its land-based casinos with sportsbook solutions.
In September, Kambi also inked a partnership agreement with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment – the company behind Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara. Based on the agreement, Kambi will supply the betting kiosks for the two casinos. The sports bar of Casino Niagara will also be transformed into a sportsbook.