Northern Exposure: NFL To Expand Sports Wagering Sponsorship Opportunities In Canada, SIGA Honoured At Canadian Gaming Summit

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

PGA U.S. Open – June 15-18

The second round of professional golf’s third major of the year, the U.S. Open, is underway from The Los Angeles Country Club.

Rickie Fowler (opened +5000 to win at BetMGM) and Xander Schauffele (opened +1800) each posted a round of 62 in the opening round, which is the lowest round ever recorded at a U.S. Open and tied for the lowest score ever at a major.

Several Canadians are in the field this week, including last week’s RBC Canadian Open winner Nick Taylor, who shot an opening-round 72 (+2). Mackenzie Hughes leads all Canadians after 18 holes with a score of 3-under par.

BetMGM reported Max Homa (+2800 to win), Brooks Koepka (+1100), and Cameron Smith (+2800) as its biggest liabilities heading into the event this week.

NFL expands sponsorship opportunities

Canadian iGaming operators can now begin to explore sponsorship opportunities with individual NFL teams, as first reported by the Sports Business Journal.

Previously, teams in the NFL’s Global Markets program could only sell sponsorships to sportsbooks with league-level deals. That means that in Canada, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, was previously the only entity that could negotiate such a partnership opportunity as the official sportsbook partner of the NFL in Canada.

Teams that are eligible in Canada via the Global Markets program include the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks.

A Canadian iGaming industry marketing professional told Canada Sports Betting that exploring such a partnership opportunity would be “very expensive” and that major private operators that already have established partnerships with NFL teams in the United States could have the inside track, if they’re interested.

The league already has official sports betting partnerships with several operators, including BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel.

The Seahawks already have a 10-year partnership in place with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which has a Caesars-branded sportsbook.

Kaizen Gaming wins multiple international awards

Last week, Kaizen Gaming, which operates the Betano brand in Ontario, received two international awards at the 2023 EGR Marketing and Innovation Awards.

Kaizen Gaming was named the recipient of both the Brand of the Year and Affiliate Campaign of the Year awards.

“We are immensely proud of receiving these awards, which recognize our company’s overall performance and our ability to deliver a consistent and engaging brand experience to its customers,” said Pablo Puertas, marketing director at Kaizen Gaming, in an email release. “Receiving the Brand of the Year and the Affiliate Campaign of the Year awards acknowledge Kaizen Gaming’s ability to create compelling and effective campaigns that engage and retain our customers. I am proud of the team, and sure we will use this recognition as a strong foundation to build on for future, upcoming campaigns for our brand Betano and Stoiximan around the world.”

In addition to winning Brand of the Year and Affiliate Campaign of the Year, Kaizen Gaming was also shortlisted in a few additional categories, including Sportsbook Marketing Campaign, Best Use of a Brand Ambassador, and Social Marketing Campaign.

Betano launched in Canada last October after hiring Kris Abbott, formerly of Coolbet Canada, as its Canadian country manager. Although relatively an unknown brand in Canada at the time of launch, Betano has been increasing its presence in Ontario with an aggressive ad campaign. The operator also anointed NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as its first-ever global ambassador.

Known internationally for its expansive soccer-forward betting markets and elaborate iCasino offerings, Abbott recently told Canada Sports Betting that the Betano brand is experiencing positive and healthy growth in the Ontario market.

Loto‑Québec reports strong financials

Loto‑Québec announced last week that the crown corporation generated almost $3 billion in revenue, which resulted in a dividend of $1.59 billion to the provincial government as a result of its 2022-23 operations.

The total revenue reported is a 35% increase year-over-year and is also the corporation’s best overall financial performance since 2006.

“Our teams came together to provide the people of Québec with the gaming and entertainment experience Loto‑Québec is known for, and their work and the overall sound management yielded exceptional results,” said President and CEO Jean-Francois Bergeron, in a press release. “We have our talented and dedicated employees to thank for being in such a good position after some difficult years. There’s a lot to be proud of when you consider that 100% of what we generate goes back to the people and province of Québec.”

Online gaming accounted for $403.9 million of the total revenue. The equals out to 13.5% of Loto-Québec’s total revenue.

A coalition of private operators recently formed to promote a regulated gambling market, like Ontario, in the province.

Canadian Gaming Summit wraps up

The Canadian Gaming Summit, Canada’s premiere annual conference and exhibition for gaming and sports betting, officially wrapped up on Thursday afternoon.

The three-day event hosted by SBC at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was a huge success with roughly 2,000 industry professionals attending and networking at the Summit. Dozens of speakers took the stage across three conference rooms to spread their knowledge in the fields of marketing, payments,, responsible gambling, traditional gambling verticals, financing, sports betting, and legal compliance, among other topics.

One of the highlights of the event was the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority receiving the First Nations Award for Innovation. The non-profit organization launched the first legal online gaming portal in the province last November after negotiating an unprecedented 50/50 revenue split with its provincial government.

SIGA announced at the conference that its iGaming portal has generated $8 million in net income since launching on Nov. 3, just prior to the Grey Cup festivities in Saskatchewan. The organization is projecting $16.8 million in net income this year and it has 17,000 active player accounts.

Executives from SIGA spoke about the uphill battle the organization has against the illegal grey market in Saskatchewan as it struggles to convert bettors to its legal platform.

The 27th edition of the conference will run from June 18-20 in Toronto next year.