Northern Exposure: Rivalry Debuts SGP For Esports, AGCO Appoints New CEO/Registrar

Each week, Canada Sports Betting recaps all the top sports betting and iGaming news in Canada, highlights the event of the week, and takes a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.

Our top stories this week

Event of the week

FIBA Basketball World Cup – begins Aug. 25

Is this the year Canada announces itself on basketball’s international stage?

This is the best roster our country has ever assembled for an international competition, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, and five other NBA players. Unfortunately, two of Canada’s best players, Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins, won’t be participating in the event.

Canada has the fourth shortest odds at bet365 to win the tournament outright at +1000 (currently boosted to +1100). Those odds were +400 prior to Murray dropping out of the event.

Canada’s first game in Group H will be against France on Friday morning. France is a slight 1.5-point favourite and also the favourite to win the group (-125). Following their opener, the Canadians will play Lebanon on Sunday and Latvia on Aug. 28. The top two teams from Group H will move on to the knockout rounds late next week. With a strong finish, Canada can also qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

Canada Sports Betting will have game previews for all of Canada’s games in the tournament, so be sure to check back before placing your wagers!

Rivalry debuts SGP for esports

Toronto-based Rivalry, an internationally regulated sports betting and media company, launched its esports same-game parlay product (called Same Game Combos) on Wednesday, allowing users to combine multiple bets within a single esports match for a higher potential payout.

The feature is now available for top League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Dota 2 matches for all Rivalry users globally. Rivalry says it’s planning to further develop the feature and it could be available for more titles, such as Valorant, in the future.

“Finding success among Millennial and Gen Z customers means being first to introduce new sports wagering experiences at the edge of technical and product innovation where this audience lives,” said Rivalry Co-Founder and CEO Steven Salz in a press release. “Same Game Combos brings one of the most popular bets on the board to an audience of deeply engaged esports fans while extending Rivalry’s position at the vanguard of betting entertainment.”

The introduction of same-game parlays has become incredibly popular and profitable for many sports betting operators across the globe. The expansion of same-game parlays into the esports world is just the latest evolution of the betting product that for a small wager can return a large payout.

Rivalry says Same Game Combos on its platforms will feature custom branding and animations targeted to Millennial and Gen Z entertainment preferences.

“It’s important to add depth to our products and more options for our users,” said Director of Product Design David King. “We are building for an under-30 demographic that have high expectations for the entertainment products they consume. Delivering on that level of entertainment, while creating a meaningful user experience, adds material value to the Rivalry platform.”

Rivalry launched in Ontario in April 2022 and offers esports, sports betting, and iCasino betting platforms.

AGCO appoints new CEO/Registrar

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has appointed Dr. Karin Schnarr as its new CEO and Registrar to replace the outgoing Tom Mungham.

Schnarr is an Associate Professor, Strategic Management, at Wilfred Laurier University, and she previously held numerous senior roles within the Government of Ontario, including Chair of the Task Force on Women and the Economy.

“So honoured to be joining the AGCO as CEO and Registrar come September 18, 2023,” Schnarr posted on LinkedIn. “Excited to be joining a strong and vibrant organization that works every day to ensure consumer protection, efficient business practices, and a people first focus. My sincere thanks to the Board for this opportunity – I am aware of the large shoes I will be filling of retiring AGCO CEO Tom Mungham. Looking forward to taking on this role and can’t wait to get started.”

Mungham announced his intention to retire from the agency last March. He joined the AGCO in 2006 and served as its Director of Licensing and Registration, and then as its CEO until 2020 when the Board appointed him to the role of Registrar and CEO.

Rideau-Carleton Raceway partners with Jakob Chychrun

Ottawa Senators defenceman Jakob Chychrun is the newest mental health ambassador for the Rideau Carleton Casino, which will soon be rebranded as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa.

Chychrun, who was traded to the Senators via the Arizona Coyotes last March, will be tasked with helping Hard Rock with its community mental health initiatives and VIP experiences. He grew up in South Florida, where Hard Rock International is headquartered.

“We are excited to welcome Jakob to the Hard Rock family, especially now as momentum builds towards the opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa in early 2025,” said Rideau Carleton Casino General Manager Helen MacMillan. “Being from Boca Raton, Jakob really understands the Hard Rock brand, and looks forward to helping us introduce this world-class hospitality brand experience to more Canadians.”

Chychrun has had a keen interest in mental health initiatives following the suicide of his cousin, Daron Richardson, and is a supporter of Do It For Daron (DIFD) foundation at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

The Rideau Carleton Raceway is Ottawa’s one and only casino, although Casino du Lac-Leamy is located just across the Ottawa River in nearby Gatineau, Quebec.

Chychrun, whose father was born near Ottawa in LaSalle, Quebec, is under contract with the Senators through the 2024-25 season. The completion of the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Ottawa is planned for the spring of 2025.