Rivalry has managed to secure a license in its second fully regulated market as has cleared the bar to enter Ontario. After being allowed to operate in Australia, the global esports betting brand has now expanded in Canada’s biggest province where online gambling was launched today (April 4, 2022).
“Bet on Canada. Bet on Rivalry” Is the Official Launch Slogan
The esports betting company is one of the few Canadian-based companies that will offer their services to Ontario’s newly regulated gambling market. Rivalry’s marketing campaign was launched today under the slogan “Bet on Canada. Bet on Rivalry.”
Steven Salz, Rivalry’s CEO and co-founder stated that Rivalry’s goal is to do things differently. By creating new and engaging experiences, the company aims to become “the sportsbook for the next generation” and thus, create a loyal fan base that will be coming back for more.
He also stated that the Ontario launch is like a dream come=true as nothing beats the feeling to be present in the home market.
The reason why Ontario is such an important market for Rivalry, and all other gaming companies for that matter, is that it is Canada’s largest province with around 15 million people. Ontario’s provincial government believes that the province is capable of generating $1 billion annually.
Not Everyone Is Happy about Ontario’s Online Gambling Launch
Although there are plenty of companies that gained a license from AGCO, Salz thinks that Rivalry is at the top due to the fact that it has a “home-court advantage.” Each of these companies is looking forward to benefiting from the legal market, however, this enthusiasm is not shared by everyone.
Some are opposing the industry as they claim that online gambling might prove to have a negative impact on land-based casinos. Moreover, gambling addiction experts have stated that the availability of these online platforms, where people can gamble at any time and place, may increase gambling harm in the province. An HLT Advisory Inc. report even stated that by legalizing online gambling, Ontario is facing the risk of losing $2.8 billion annually.
The senior vice-president of DraftKings, Jeffrey Haas, thinks otherwise. He claimed that the launch of the regulated gambling market in Ontario will change nothing “in respect to the players.” He went on to say that the only difference here is that instead of visiting offshore sites, Ontario residents will now wager on onshore sites.
As for people that have visited land-based casinos, Haas stated that they will continue to do so, even though online casinos are now available. The reason why some are fearing that Canada might face the risk of losing money by legalizing online gambling is connected to taxes.
The tax rate for online operators is 20%, whereas land-based casinos pay a 55% tax to the province. Salz also commented on the matter by saying that people that were wagering at offshore sites are highly unlikely to walk into a casino, regardless of whether online operators were regulated or not.