Private sportsbooks in Ontario will not be able to publish promotions

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February 10, 2022; Washington, DC, USA; The new BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Prince Grimes-USA TODAY NETWORK

  • Sportsbooks in Ontario will not be allowed to advertise sign-up promotions
  • Although they may offer sign-up bonuses to players, under no circumstances will they be able to use them to promote sites.
  • Traditionally, sign-up bonus offers have been a key method that sports betting sites use to attract new customers.

Ontario is promoting the impending April 4, 2022 launch of private sports betting. However, you may have noticed that there is no mention of offering sign-up deals for new players.

There is a reason for this.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario, industry regulators in the province, do not allow the promotion of this staple of the online sports betting industry.

In the competitive world of online sports betting, sportsbooks usually offer sign-up bonuses to entice new players to sign up to their sites. These usually include offers such as first bets with no risk of first matching deposits.

Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, explained how the sign-up bonus process will work for Ontario sports betting sites.

“You can put them on your website, you can offer them to players in your database,” Burns said of sign-up promotions. “You just can’t put them in your advertising.”

This ban will also apply to all online casinos that open in the province.

“There is a set of regulatory standards that covers both sports and casino games,” Burns said.

Ontario’s online sports betting is open otherwise

This development runs completely counter to the approach the Ontario government is otherwise taking to open sports betting in the province. For the most part, their policy seems to be anything goes.

“In terms of eSports, live gaming and live dealer (casino) anything is allowed,” Burns said. “There are very few things that are not available. This way it will be quite sturdy.

In several US jurisdictions, permission to bet on electronic sports is still not granted. Additionally, several states have yet to legalize online casino gambling. Ontario, however, is pushing hard on these fronts from the start.

“AGCO, in setting the standards, did the right thing by allowing the widest variety of products on the market,” Burns said. “I think that’s going to make it exciting and give operators the ability to offer a full range of products.”

Other Options for Ontario Sports Betting Promotions

It will be more difficult for sportsbooks to entice Ontario bettors to sign up. The proven standard of sign-up bonuses is not available to dangle in front of potential new customers. Thus, Canadian sports betting companies will have to get creative in enticing players to join their sites.

“It’s going to be competition based on a solid product and not on incentivized offers, or just who has the biggest bonus,” Burns said. “It will be a little different from what we have seen in the United States.”

BetRivers Canada offers the opportunity to try out its sports betting and casino for free with fun gaming options. PointsBet Canada has hired Canadian cultural icons, the Trailer Park Boys, to serve as their brand ambassadors.

BetMGM Canada has named Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid as its brand ambassador. The announcement of the agreement took place on Friday. McDavid is the defending winner of the NHL’s Art Ross and Hart Trophy.

Robert Duf

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