Northern Exposure: Golf Canada Extends Partnership With theScore Bet

Each week, Canada Sports Betting recaps all the top sports betting and iGaming news in Canada and highlights upcoming events.

Our top stories this week

Event of the week

RBC Canadian Open – May 30-June 2

The PGA Tour is in Canada this week at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Rory McIlroy leads a star-studded field that includes a strong Canadian contingent, including last year’s homegrown champion Nick Taylor.

McIlroy is the betting favourite at +400 odds (BetMGM), and Corey Conners has the shortest odds (+2500) of the Canadians in the field entering the first round of play on Thursday.

Heading into the event, BetMGM reported that 24.3% of the handle is on McIlory to win outright, and he accounts for 10% of tickets. The sportsbook’s biggest liabilities are Sahith Theegala (+2000), Alex Noren (+2500), and McIlroy.

Golf Canada extends partnership with theScore Bet

PENN Entertainment has reached an agreement with Golf Canada on a multi-year extension for its wholly owned subsidiary, theScore Bet, to continue as the operator’s exclusive online gaming partner, the two parties announced Wednesday.

That means theScore Bet will continue to sponsor Canada’s men’s and women’s national golf championships, the RBC Canadian Open and CPKC Women’s Open, as it has done for the past three years.

“Golf Canada has been a tremendous partner over the last three years and we are extremely pleased to extend our relationship,” said PENN Interactive Vice President of Operations, Jason Birney, in a release. “The RBC Canadian Open and CPKC Women’s Open are foundational, best-in-class events that we’re proud to align theScore BET brand with. Through our sponsorship and creative on-site activations, we look forward to providing golf fans with unique and memorable experiences in the years ahead.”

This year’s RBC Canadian Open is already underway at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario and theScore Bet is onsite with its popular Members Lounge located in The Rink at the 13th hole. The Members Lounge offers theScore Bet account holders access to a reserved space with amenities and great views of the course.

In 2022, theScore Bet grabbed international headlines with its unique Skyline Seats activation at the RBC Canadian Open.

The 2025 RBC Canadian Open will be held at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, Ontario, and the 2025 CPKC Women’s Open will be held at Mississauga Golf and Country Club.

Bill 16 passed by Alberta legislature

Another hurdle in the potential creation of a regulated igaming market in Alberta has been cleared.

The Alberta legislature recently passed Bill 16, known as the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, which includes reforms to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act. Under these reforms, it’s made clear that the provincial government has the authority to conduct and manage gaming in the province in addition to its Crown Corporation, Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, potentially paving the way for third-party operators to launch in the province while being conducted and managed by a provincial authority.

The bill quickly received Royal Assent, officially making it an act of parliament.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, Honourable Dale Nally, recently told Canada Sports Betting that there’s no official timetable for the launch of a regulated igaming in the province, but government officials will be meeting with all 47 First Nations and with the six First Nation casino operators to get feedback on potential igaming revisions. The spokesperson also identified the Grey Cup (November 2024), the 2025 Super Bowl (Feb. 2025), and the 2025 Stanley Cup Playoffs (April 2025), as key dates the government is “mindful” of in the potential creation of such an industry.

Members of the Alberta government have been consulting with other jurisdictions, including Ontario, on a potential igaming expansion for several months now. It appears as though it’s a matter of when, not if, such a competitive online gambling marketplace will be created.

It’s also very likely that Alberta will need to create a conduct-and-manage agency, similar to iGaming Ontario, to work in tandem with the AGLC to regulate online gambling.

Currently, the only legal sports betting/igaming option for Albertans is through AGLC’s PlayAlberta website. According to AGLC’s 2022-23 annual report, a total of $4.4 billion in bets were placed on PlayAlberta across all games in 2023, which was an increase of 22.2% compared to 2022. However, online sports betting only accounted for 3% of net sales, with iCasino and online lottery driving the majority of revenue.

Rivalry expands into crypto

Bettors that wager with Toronto-based Rivalry will have an interesting new perk later this year.

The operator is introducing Rivalry Token, a native crypto token on the blockchain to add increased functionality, economics, and user experiences across the company’s product suite, as its latest innovation in online betting.

Users will be able to earn these tokens through site activity and wagering to earn odds boosts, purchase merchandise, and participate in jackpots.

Rivalry Token will also be available on several to-be-announced crypto exchange platforms, trading under $RVLRY.

“Online gambling is the latest web-based consumer category being increasingly disrupted by blockchain technologies with greater speed, access, and functionality than their legacy counterparts,” said Rivalry Co-Founder and CEO, Steven Salz, in a release, “Tech-savvy bettors are leading a behavioural shift towards more experiential and crypto-enabled gambling experiences that are taking wallet share from incumbents at an accelerated rate. Rivalry is well-positioned to access the growth opportunity in crypto with a proven product set, a brand entrenched in internet culture, and a captive audience of digitally native users that are driving this economic renaissance. The launch of Rivalry Token, alongside a broader expansion into cryptocurrencies, strengthens our product-market fit among an under-30 audience and positions us competitively to capture a meaningful share of this fast-growing segment of the market.”

Following the official launch, Rivalry Token will be available for players to use on Rivalry in all of the company’s active markets, excluding Ontario and Australia.

Rivalry, known for its comprehensive esports offerings in addition to original iCasino and sports betting products, is very popular with Gen Z bettors.