Ontario’s free-play game operators are continuing their advertising drive as the state awaits the launch of its long-awaited open market for private operators. 릴게임 Bet99, Ozshark, PokerStars, JackpotCity and Party Casino each purchased advertising locations to promote free play offerings on TSN’s Grey Cup broadcast on Sunday, December 12, 2021.
Currently, five companies offer games free of charge on the website “Dotnet,” and players can move to “dotcom” where they can access real money bets. These gray market operators were expected to struggle with Ontario’s new market news, but business is well underway while the province postpones its launch to February 2022.
Bet99, one of five companies founded by former hockey player Doug Honeger, is licensed by the Kanawake Games Board and gaming authorities in Malta and the Netherlands. The company is also expected to apply for a license in Ontario’s new market, and now the company is spending heavily on TV and digital advertising to attract new audiences.
Also this month, the Ottawa Senators became the first NHL team to have a gambling sponsor after the Bet99.net logo was displayed on their helmets. Meanwhile, this week the company launched its #BettingOnWomen IsNever game campaign, showcasing it on billboards in Dundas Square. Alicia Newman, Meghan Chaika, and Sherlin Noyes were the faces for the campaign’s unveiling.
Gavin Roth, a sports marketing and sponsorship consultant, said Bet99 is spending a lot of money on marketing because most big players are waiting to launch a major marketing campaign when the market opens. According to Roth, it was the same in the United States and can be seen in Canada.
He went on to say that the gray market brand will continue to receive a lot of attention from sports enthusiasts until the province starts a new regulatory regime. So companies are using it while they can. Mr. Ross expects broader marketing from FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet and more operators as the launch nears in Q1 2022.
A recent study by OnlineCasinoList.com noted that gray market operators will have difficulty adapting to Ontario’s new iGaming regime. The study expects the province to move away from its operators through channelization, with new markets accounting for 43% of Canada’s online gaming industry’s total revenue.
Recently, Canada’s most populous state reported an impressive betting surge during this year’s Grey Cup tournament. For example, BCLC’s PlayNow Sportsbook reported a 260% increase in deployed bets compared to the last Grey Cup tournament in 2019. OLG’s new PROLINE+ sportsbook has also attracted a lot of betting activity. The surge can be explained by the legalization of a single event in the summer.