Sportsbook businesses are urging Quebec to become Canada’s next open sports betting jurisdiction.
In May, a group of eight Canadian sportsbooks formed the Quebec Online Gaming Coalition to lobby regulators to allow private operators in the province. The initial members of the QOGC include Bet99, DraftKings, Flutter, which owns US sports betting leader FanDuel, BetMGM co-owner Entain, Betway, Rush Street Interactive, Games Global and Apricot Investments.
Several of the operators in the coalition, such as Bet99 and Betway, are former unregulated gray market operators in Ontario and favor implementing a licensing and tax structure. The coalition is focused on addressing growing concerns about consumer safety, responsible gaming and advertising, as well as “substantially increasing government revenues.”
Right now in Quebec, the only way to gamble on sports is through Loto-Quebec’s Mise-o-jeu.
The coalition’s goal is to assist the government of Quebec in establishing an independent regulatory body and framework for commercial online gambling. While Ontario’s sports betting regulators continue to tout their success despite little public transparency, the operators indicate that following the route of its provincial neighbor will be the wisest course of action for Quebec.
The call to open additional provincial areas to private operators comes as state officials in the United States seek federal assistance in cracking down on unlawful black-market operators in the country.
As Ontario is currently open to private iGaming enterprises, operators are eager to obtain entry to Canada’s second-most populous jurisdiction. Quebec has a population of 8.7 million people, which is nearly the same as Virginia.
The foundation of the QOGC was prompted by some of the findings of a recent Leger Marketing survey of Quebecers regarding gambling in the province. According to the survey, 71% of Quebecers polled believe the Quebec government could not prevent private internet gaming operators (who could be controlled abroad or outside the province, but not by the province itself), and 66% supported regulating those operators through a license-and-tax system.
Loto-Quebec is the only authorized online sports betting service in Quebec, while there are several more in Ontario. Furthermore, while the coalition is only getting the conversation started, the Ontario iGaming model took years to develop, so creating anything similar in Quebec will take time.
In April 2022, the Ontario government launched a competitive market for online sports betting and internet casinos. That regulatory framework now contains more than 70 gaming websites, in addition to Loto-Québec’s equivalent digital operations in Ontario, which are administered by the government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. In less than a year of operation, Ontario’s system has generated more than $35 billion in total wagering (sports betting, casino, and poker) and $1.4 billion in gross gaming income.
A Made-in-Ontario Casino and Sportsbook Gaming Platform
NorthStar Gaming operates NorthStar Bets, a casino and sportsbook gambling platform with a distinct regional flavor. The platform includes a sportsbook that provides real-time news, data, analysis, and scores while betting, as well as a big selection of popular online casino games.
In Q1 2023, NorthStar Gaming reported total wagers of $139.5 million, a 24% increase from Q4 2022. Gross gaming revenue was $4.4 million in Q1 2023, up 8% from the prior-year quarter, while gross margin was $1.2 million, up 20% from Q4 2022.
NorthStar Bets was created in partnership with Playtech PLC (LSE:PTECH) (OTC:PYTCY), a leading developer of B2C gambling technology. As part of the agreement, Playtech became NorthStar‘s strategic software and services partner, delivering its IMS platform and casino services to Ontario’s gambling sector.
Playtech also made a C$12.25 million strategic investment in Northstar Gaming to help the Canadian gaming industry expand and flourish. Northstar‘s reverse takeover (RTO) financing was completed with this investment, raising a total of C$22.33 million in gross revenues.
In addition to live, on-call agents and exclusive sports news and gaming content, NorthStar Gaming offers an unequaled casino and sportsbook experience. The company benefits from its local presence by leveraging its strong Ontario roots, which allows it to stay in tune with and adapt to the province’s preferences.
NorthStar is well-positioned to become a leader in the intersection of sports media and sports wagering due to collaborations and agreements with notable media companies, including an omnichannel advertising and marketing services agreement with Torstar Corporation, the founder of the Toronto Star.
Featured Image @ FreePik
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