The NFL’s regular season is hurtling towards us, and another operator of online sports betting in Canada is ensuring its official ties with the league extend to the Great White North as a prime customer-acquisition period draws near.
BetMGM announced on Tuesday a "multi-year partnership extension" with the National Football League (NFL), making the operator one of the league’s official sportsbook partners in Canada.
The new deal comes after the one BetMGM struck in 2021 to become an approved sportsbook operator of the league in the U.S., which allowed the company to advertise itself on television during games.
BetMGM has since launched internet casino gambling and online sports betting in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, and the only one in the country with a regulated market for iGaming that permits private-sector operators to participate. BetMGM went live in Ontario in April.
The Canadian partnership with the NFL will let BetMGM use official NFL marks in the country. BetMGM can run commercials on “NFL-operated digital platforms” in Canada as well, and offer customers “exclusive NFL experiences,” according to a press release.
"Expanding our partnership with the NFL into Canada sets the stage for amazing opportunities as we begin the upcoming football season," BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in the release. "We're already seeing great interest from our Ontario customers and this collaboration truly elevates the BetMGM experience."
BetMGM, which is jointly owned by MGM Resorts International and Entain PLC, now joins FanDuel Group and government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) as the NFL’s official partners in Canada.
However, Ontario’s iGaming market went live in April, a typically quieter time of the year for sportsbooks. The timing of the launch means the province has yet to go through an NFL regular season with the new regulatory framework in place, and the upcoming season is expected to stoke competition among operators in the province to acquire customers.
Although no official numbers have been released yet, there have been signs the size of the Ontario market is significant. Greenblatt, for instance, said in June that BetMGM recorded 70 million transactions during May in Ontario.
And while it remains to be seen if official partnerships with the NFL will deliver an advantage to BetMGM, FanDuel, or OLG, the already crowded field of online sportsbooks in Ontario has operators trying to find ways to stand out.
"We are thrilled to be working with BetMGM in Canada as an Official Sportsbook Partner,” said Gavin Kemp, senior director of corporate partnerships for NFL Canada, in Tuesday's release. “BetMGM delivers a unique gaming platform to this emerging market and will enhance the NFL fan experience in Canada in new and innovative ways."