An operator that says it welcomes winning players with open arms is poised to go live next week in the regulated market for online sports betting in Ontario.
Pinnacle has begun emailing Ontario-based customers that its registration for internet gambling will take effect on October 26, after which users in the province will be directed to a new website for online sports betting.
Bettors will then have to download and install the GeoGuard Location Validator app from GeoComply Solutions Inc. to confirm they are in Ontario, the email says. Players may need to re-verify their identity as well, depending on when they signed up with the bookmaker.
Once more unto the void
Pinnacle also says it will suspend betting from around 11 P.M. ET on October 23 until 12 P.M. ET on October 26 to “facilitate the launch” of the company’s new Ontario website.
Pre-existing players with futures bets may have their wagers voided, too.
“Regarding your pending Futures bets with a settlement date of October 26, 2022, or later, they will be cancelled and your stakes on these bets will be refunded,” the company says in its email. “However, for those bets that are cancelled, if the markets are no longer available on the new site, and the result of the bet has not yet been determined, we can re-offer those bets to you (except Multiples bets).”
Pinnacle says players have until October 28 to contact customer service if they want to re-place their bets in their new account. It adds, though, that either all cancelled bets must be re-placed, or none at all. Only futures placed before October 18 will be eligible.
"For those bets that are cancelled, where the markets are open and available on the new site, you are free to place those bets again yourself," Pinnacle says.
A welcome sight
While the transition could cause headaches for bettors with hefty futures bets, it could also mark a big moment for the legal sports betting market in Ontario.
The market at this time last year was home to just one legit operator, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. However, since the launch of the province’s regulated iGaming market in April, more than 20 operators are now legally taking wagers within the province.
And Pinnacle, which bills itself as a “Winners Welcome” sportsbook that offers sharp lines and high limits, has been a long-awaited addition to Ontario’s iGaming market.
There was also an expectation that Pinnacle would join the market sooner rather than later. The company obtained its Ontario iGaming registration in September, which is similar to a license and which put it on the cusp of launching in the province’s regulated market. Operators must obtain their registration and sign an agreement with government agency iGaming Ontario before they can launch.
Furthermore, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario intends to end the transition period for “grey” operators at the end of this month.
Operators such as Pinnacle, which have taken bets from Ontarians despite being regulated abroad, face a Halloween deadline to come under provincial oversight. The voiding of pre-existing bets is part of that transition.
“Ontario’s sports fans and bettors deserve the best betting opportunities, and we’re excited to now service them with just that with the recent approval of our registration from the AGCO,” Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith said in a September press release. “There’s a robust and fair regulatory regime in place, along with a knowledgeable sports and betting audience, and we’re excited to be able to take our ‘Winners Welcome’ mantra to the market and take Ontarian betting to the next level.”