“Ontario, it’s happening. See you soon.”
That’s the new billboard by theScore in Toronto celebrating the looming legalization of sports betting in Canada.
The Senate of Canada passed a bill on Tuesday permitting each province to approve single-game wagering. Prior to the 57-20 vote, Canadian citizens were only allowed to bet on sports through multi-leg parlays.
With sports betting online by the fall, companies like theScore — which operates the country’s leading mobile sports media app — and DraftKings are expecting the biggest gold rush since the Klondike.
Canada boasts a population of nearly 38 million, as well as seven NHL teams, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, and the Canadian Football League.
“Fired-up is an understatement for how awesome an opportunity this now is in Ontario,” said Aubrey Levy, vice president of content and marketing for Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming.
- Online gaming in Canada could generate between $4.3 billion and $5.4 billion in annual gross gaming revenue, estimates theScore.
- Ontario, the country’s most populous province, is viewed as the “crown jewel” of a legalized Canadian sports betting market. The province alone could generate up to $2.1 billion in revenue.
- With a population of 14.7 million, Ontario would rank as the fifth-largest U.S. state, behind California, Texas, Florida, and New York but ahead of Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Not surprisingly, the NHL generates the country’s largest betting handle, according to Levy: “Betting behavior tends to parallel media consumption. And in Canada, hockey is absolutely huge.”