One of the bigger operators in the so-called “grey market” for gaming in Canada has now transitioned into the regulated market for online sports betting in Ontario.
The Super Group Ltd.-owned bookmaker had already received an iGaming registration from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
However, Betway still needed to execute a contract with iGaming Ontario before joining the list of online sportsbooks that are legally authorized to take bets in Canada’s most populous province.
Betway had begun warning its existing customers in Ontario that changes were coming, saying they would need to start using a new, provincially regulated website that would launch on Monday.
“This means you’ll no longer be able to bet on Betway.COM,” the operator said in an email. “Next time you visit the site, you’ll be prompted to confirm Ontario as your location and begin the switch to Betway.CA. You may also be asked to verify your identity – so we recommend having your passport and driving license ready.”
Betway added that any existing balances will be transferred to the new accounts.
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While Betway is now just one of 20 operators doing business within Ontario’s market for iGaming, the bookmaker is already well-known in the province, which is currently the only one in Canada with such a regulatory framework.
A report by Morgan Stanley analysts in April showed Betway's share of monthly app downloads in Canada among iGaming operators was as high as 51%, in January and February of 2021. In April, though, when Ontario's new iGaming market opened, Betway's share of downloads fell to 4%, as the operator faced a wave of regulated competition.
“Canada is currently our biggest market,” said Richard Hasson, president and chief operating officer of Super Group, Betway’s parent company, during an April 13 conference call for analysts and investors. “And obviously, the regulatory environment there is key. Currently, only Ontario is in the process of regulating, and we're busy doing what we need to in order to comply with the requirements for that market.”
Betway also has a U.S.-facing partnership with the National Hockey League, which is no small thing in hockey-crazed Canada.
“Betway has a very aggressive growth strategy and are an ideal partner to engage with our avid fan base,” said Keith Wachtel, the NHL’s chief business officer, in a May 2021 press release.