After over a month of legal sports betting in Ontario, the marketplace is still missing one of the industry’s biggest players, DraftKings. On a recent earnings call, the company expressed their plans to launch its sportsbook in the province before the end of June.
Ontario sports bettors have had no shortage of choices when it comes to online sportsbooks in the newly legal marketplace, with more than a dozen local and global operators beginning to take bets on the April 4th launch date. DraftKings, one of the most popular and best-known options in the USA, has remained conspicuously absent however. That looks to change soon, as DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins told inventors on their recent earnings call that they are working closely with regulatory bodies and expect to go live with online betting in Canada “in the near future”.
It comes as no surprise that the company has plans to launch in Ontario, but the recent announcement provides more detail on the specifics of the timing. Some reports indicate that DraftKings has already applied for and received a license from the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission, the final legal hurdle companies must overcome before beginning to take bets in the province. Assuming that is true, the only thing delaying the launch is internal logistics and it would indicate that the company can officially launch in Ontario whenever they are ready.
While typically being first to market gives companies a competitive advantage, a company with the clout of DraftKings carries enough weight that their competitors are fearing them. With a nearly-bottomless marketing budget, massive brand recognition, and the marketing savvy that has made them a juggernaut in the USA sports betting and daily fantasy sports landscape, the company is in position to acquire customers and take market share from their competition utilizing a variety of methods. Many Ontario sports bettors are already anticipating high-value promotional offers and the ability to utilize DraftKings’ industry-leading software that offers a wide array of unique betting options as well as a streamlined live betting solution.
Their competitors won’t give up easily. FanDuel, arguably DraftKings’ biggest competitor, launched in Ontario on the first day it was legal, and while the market is too young for hard statistics to be released, early data based around app downloads and anecdotal evidence indicates that they have acquired a sizeable market share in the first month of operations. Smaller converted grey market online gambling sites might not have the marketing budget to compete with DraftKings, but they have a longer track record with their customers, giving them the potential to leverage brand loyalty to keep their share of the market.
Even if Ontario sports bettors are happy with their current options, they will benefit from having another big player come on board. The increased competition means more valuable promotional offers as companies fight to acquire customers and earn loyalty.
DraftKings has a long history of spending big money on customer acquisition, so when they do launch, their arrival into the marketplace is sure to come along with a big advertising expenditure as well as promotional offers that offer some of the best values that Ontario sports bettors have ever seen.
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