Pinnacle Latest Sportsbook to Join Ontario’s Regulated Online Market
Pinnacle has been a fixture in the Canadian sports betting scene for years. On Monday, the Curacao-based sportsbook revealed it earned regulator approval to operate in Ontario.
Monday’s release comes after the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) approved Pinnacle for a two-year internet gaming license. The website, Pinnacle.ca, isn’t live as of Tuesday morning, and the company said it will launch in Canada’s most populous province in the near future.
CEO Paris Smith said in a statement that the company is excited to operate in the province.
There’s a robust and fair regulatory regime in place, along with a knowledgeable sports and betting audience, and we’re excited to be able to take our ‘Winners Welcome’ mantra to the market and take Ontarian betting to the next level,” Smith said.
In addition to having its sportsbook approved, the company announced its business-to-business Pinnacle Solution platform also received approval from the AGCO. That means it can provide trading and risk management services to other Ontario sportsbooks.
With Ontario, Pinnacle is now licensed in four jurisdictions. The others are Italy, Malta, and Sweden.
While Pinnacle offers wagering on a multitude of US events, its website states it doesn’t accept wagers from any bettor physically located in the US, regardless of residency or visitor status.
Latest Gray Operator to Transition
Pinnacle is best known as a sportsbook that looks to acquire customers by offering reduced vig or juice on markets, instead of promoting large sign-up bonuses or other enticements. That may play well for the brand, since Ontario regulations forbid public advertising of such promotions. Licensed sportsbooks can only offer those inducements on their websites, or through direct marketing if the bettors agree to receive them.
The company had been in Ontario as a gray market operator. But when provincial officials decided to set up a regulated gaming market, they devised a way to let those sportsbooks gain entry.
Other companies that operated in the gray market have also made the transition, including Sports Interaction. The new site is run by Entain’s Electraworks Maple Limited division. Before it was approved two weeks ago, Sports Interaction had been operating in the province as part of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake’s online gaming unit. Mohawk Online Limited continues to run Sports Interaction in other parts of Canada, Mohawk Online CEO Dean Montour told Casino.org last week.
Some of the former gray market sites have flourished.
Last month, a survey of Ontario gamblers released by Betting Hero found that bet365 was by far the top choice among licensed sportsbooks. That was likely because nearly a third of those surveyed had previously wagered with the British-based operator before regulated online sports betting and iGaming launched five months ago.
Not all gray market sportsbooks have ceased operations in Ontario, as PointsBet global CEO Sam Swanell noted in an analyst call two weeks ago. Those outside operators still maintain a substantial presence in the province even as regulated operators have launched.
About Ontario Sports Betting
As of Tuesday, iGaming Ontario (IGO) reports there are 40 regulated online sports betting, iGaming, and poker sites live in the province.
Through the first quarter (April 4-June 30), Ontario’s 31 regulated sites that were live during that time frame took in CAD$4.08 billion (USD$3.11 billion) in handle and CAD$162 million (USD$123.5 million) in revenue.
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