NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Canada's largest province may be headed for an online gaming revolution. The Ontario provincial government has signalled an openness to legalizing online gambling as part of the province's 2020 budget. Currently, online betting in Ontario is a monopoly controlled by the province, but legislation early next year could change that, opening the door to this huge market to companies like Bragg Gaming Group (TSX-V: BRAG) (OTCQX: BRGGF), DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG), Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ: SGMS), MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and GVC Holdings (OTCPK: GMVHF).
Ontario legalizing online betting could also spur other Canadian provinces to follow suit, providing an even bigger opportunity for companies like Bragg Gaming Group to gain first-mover advantage in the country's largest market. From there, it will be easy to expand into new Canadian markets as they open up. The Canadian Federal government has already proposed nation-wide legalization of single-event sports betting, adding to the Canadian opportunity.
Bragg Gaming Group Sees Opportunity in Ontario
Bragg Gaming Group is a provider of turnkey, digital solutions for online casino operators. The company's flagship product is its ORYX Gaming platform, an omni-channel retail, online, and mobile iGaming platform. The company also offers advanced casino content through its partnerships with dozens of specialty game developers and publishers, as well as sportsbook, lottery, marketing, and operational services. Essentially, Bragg provides licensed operators with everything they need to get their online casinos and sportsbooks up and running.
As part of the company's strategy, Bragg Gaming Group is prioritizing jurisdictions where sportsbooks are legal, which puts the Ontario gaming market squarely in the company's sights as Bragg provides technology to i-gaming operators. Should Ontario open up to the wider world of online betting, the province will likely see an influx of online casino operators in need of Bragg's technology.
On November 27, Bragg celebrated the Canadian federal government's move towards legalizing single-event betting as a key step forward for the online betting industry in the country. Moves like these by the federal and provincial governments are indicators of a changing legislative landscape and signs of a rising opportunity in the country.
"We're very supportive of the move to legalizing single-event betting," Bragg Gaming Board Member Rob Godfrey said in the company's release. "Jurisdictions around the world are modernizing their gaming regulations to reflect today's global gaming market, and Canadians – and the country's operators – should have the same ability to place bets as their international peers. The reality is that many Canadians are already placing single-event bets today, but through illegal black-market channels that make them vulnerable. This proposed legislation will move a significant portion of these activities to a safer, more regulated environment that better protects Canadians' interests while also ensuring a level playing field for Canadian operators."
Major Gaming Companies Look to Ontario
Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS), a major provider of digital betting services and physical gambling machines, is already well involved with the Canadian gambling market. The company has been the instant game provider to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation since 2010 and recently extended that contract through to 2022. In November, the company sold 600 game terminals to the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. Scientific Games would likely move to serve third-party casino operators in the province as they move into a newly opened Ontario gaming market.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) has stepped into the online gaming market with the introduction of its BetMGM, a joint venture with GVC Holdings (OTC:GMVHF) that seeks to be a North American leader in sports betting and iGaming. In a recent interview, BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said that the company is "paying close attention to Canada, as Ontario is in the process of legalizing sports betting."
Industry leading sports betting site DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ:DKNG) will likely show significant interest in the Ontario market as well. The company has been quickly moving into new online gaming markets as they open up and analysts have noted that Ontario could be the company's next big opportunity if the province does, in fact, end its monopoly on online casinos.
Ontario represents a huge opportunity for companies like Bragg Gaming Group, and that opportunity is only likely to get bigger as Canada's largest province looks likely to move forward with online gaming legalization.
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