Flutter Entertainment's PokerStars brand has announced the launch of its poker, casino and sports products offering in Ontario. The news follows its full registration approval by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to operate in the Canadian province; and the signing of an operating agreement with AGCO's subsidiary iGaming Ontario.
The CEO of Flutter International, Dan Taylor, said: "Ontario's online gambling market is going through a stage of huge growth following its opening in early April, so being able to launch the full range of PokerStars products as a registered operator in the province is an enormous achievement. I’d like to thank all those involved in helping to make PokerStars’ range of safe and trusted products available to players in Ontario and for their contribution towards our ongoing strategy of growing our business in regulated markets.”
Today’s the day for Ontario players! 🙌— PokerStars (@PokerStars) June 28, 2022
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PokerStars' registration provides "for a regulated offering to the community in Ontario, across PokerStars' three verticals of poker, casino, and sport," while presenting a localized schedule and offering, according to a press release. The brand's in-app and online experience provides consumers with over 5,000 games, poker, blackjack, and more.
"In many respects, Ontario is our home market, given the first-ever hand of PokerStars was played here over 20 years ago, so we are thrilled about the new regulated environment within which our players can play", said Tom Warren, MD - Marketing. "A lot has changed in that time, but our commitment to offering our players the most epic and thrilling experience in the market hasn't – and we can't wait to get started."
To mark the launch of the new PokerStars CAON platform, PokerStars will be hosting a special launch series, the Ontario Platinum Series, exclusively for those in Ontario from July 10 -18, offering a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. The brand further said there is "much more ahead in Ontario this summer," including to-be-announced events and experiences in the works for players, and a rewards program. Meanwhile, a new weekly flagship event, known as the New Sunday Majors, will be a special Sunday tournament with a $100k guaranteed prize pool.
The legal Ontario iGaming and Sports Betting market was launched on April 4, 2022. Soon after that, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced a multiyear partnership deal with Flutter's FanDuel, becoming the first-ever North American sports betting partner of the NHL, expanding its rights into Canada.
After that, both FanDuel and PokerStars joined forces to strike a major partnership agreement with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), marking a first in North America featuring multiple Flutter brands. PokerStars was designated as an official gaming partner of Maple Leaf, a relationship the brand said it is looking forward to leveraging now that it has been approved.
Companies continue to disembark in the Canadian province, with the latest entering close to the beginning of its third month in activity: Super Group announced this week it has been approved to launch four online casino brands in the jurisdiction.
Ontario's performance and relevance have become evident with the shift in business targets by theScore Bet, a Penn National Gaming brand, which has confirmed the shutdown of the brand in the U.S., to focus on Canada's newly legalized market.