Canadian professional football is getting cozier and cozier with providers of legal sports betting.
The Canadian Football League announced Thursday that FanDuel is its first "authorized gaming operator" and an official sportsbook partner of the organization.
FanDuel looks to be a natural fit for the CFL’s first authorized online sports betting site because of the former’s existing partnership with the broadcaster of the league’s games, TSN.
The Ontario version of the FanDuel app even has a TSN-specific section with wagering markets for games televised on the network, such as odds and lines for Friday’s game between the Edmonton Elks and Ottawa REDBLACKS.
“We look forward to working with the CFL and TSN to continue to drive interest in this great league and the next generation of stars by contributing insights that add another element to the great storytelling that is taking place,” Dale Hooper, GM of FanDuel Canada, said in a press release. “FanDuel believes in the compliance of regulating bodies and provincial regulations, and continues to make responsible gaming the first priority, as maintaining the integrity of sport is essential to users’ safety and enjoyment.”
BetRegal has yet to receive an Ontario sports betting license, although it uses the CFL logo on its Canadian website, suggesting it may still have some official ties to the league.
The CFL has been very much in favor of its home country bolstering its legal sports betting opportunities, such as lobbying the Canadian government to legalize single-game wagering in the country, which happened in the summer of 2021. It has also partnered with data and technology company Genius Sports to boost its profile with sports fans and bettors.
The league’s embrace of betting boils down to increasing “engagement” with its product: If someone is betting on a CFL game, they’ll be more inclined to watch what happens.
“Responsible sports wagering is another way for our league to further its connection with our fans,” said Tyler Mazereeuw, the chief commercial officer of the CFL, in this week's release. “In addition to taking in our fun, fast and entertaining brand of football, some fans may wish to engage with the game on a more personal level.”