Ontario Sports Betting: Bally Bet Launches Casino, but no Sportsbook, in Province’s iGaming Market

Government agency iGaming Ontario announced Wednesday that Bally Bet had joined the province's internet gambling market as a regulated and approved operator — there's just no sports betting, at least not yet.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2022 3:35 PM ET Read Time: 2 min
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The market for online casino gambling and sports betting in Ontario has a new entrant, but the latest arrival is offering only blackjack, roulette, and slots, not lines on Toronto Argonauts games — or any other sporting event for that matter. 

Government agency iGaming Ontario announced Wednesday that Bally Bet (owned by Rhode Island-based Bally's Corp.) had joined the province's internet gambling market as a regulated and approved operator.

In most places, that would mean online sports betting. Because, in addition to the Ontario launch, the Bally Bet brand is live and taking bets on sporting events in New York, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, and Virginia

However, Bally Bet is just one of several online sportsbooks in those states. The business does not offer internet casino gambling there because it is not legal.

In Ontario, though, the province's iGaming market allows for both online sports betting and internet casino gaming to be offered to customers — but Bally Bet is only offering the latter, at least as of Thursday.

The Bally Bet site for Ontario includes a number of online slots and table games. There's just no sports betting at the moment. 

The interactive arm of Bally's does only offer online casino gambling in New Jersey, where it's legal, but that site is branded as Bally Casino, not Bally Bet, which is used for sports betting in other states. 

A Bally's spokesperson emailed Covers on Friday, after this story was published, to say the digital and sports betting division of the company had officially launched "Bally Bet Casino" in Ontario, making it Bally's second online gaming market after New Jersey. 

"The sportsbook arm of the site is currently in development, there is no scheduled launch for the Bally Bet sportsbook currently," David Sandler added in the email. 

Better to be lucky?

As of Thursday morning, Ontario's private iGaming market included 19 operators running more than 30 gambling sites and related apps. The province’s regulatory framework, the first of its kind for Canada, began allowing private-sector operators to legally take bets from residents on April 4. 

After recently receiving a key regulatory approval, Bally’s is now entering the Ontario market in the wake of its rivals, just as it did in New York. But the bookmaker has been busy with some corporate matters of its own, namely an ultimately rejected proposal to buy the entirety of the company by its biggest shareholder.

The chairman of Bally's board of directors, Soo Kim, also envisioned late last year a future in which sports betting may be easier to grasp — like a slot machine. 

“The kind of opportunities that will come in the next generation, you’re talking about more of an integrated experience, where anyone, a casual fan, anyone that’s watching a game can feel like, ‘Oh, I can place a wager, or I have an opinion what’s going to happen next,’” Kim said during the SBC Summit North America conference in New Jersey. “It’s going to be more luck-based, less skill-based. It’s going to be a much wider funnel because everyone will take a shot.”

This story has been updated from its original version to include comments from a Bally's spokesperson.

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