The newest member of the BetMGM sportsbook team is NHL legend Wayne Gretzky. “The Great One” will assume the role as ‘brand ambassador’ for the third-largest legal US sportsbook in terms of market share.
Legislative efforts in Canada continue in the hopes of bringing single-game sports betting to that country. Lawmakers in the Senate are in the process of reviewing Bill C-218 ahead of the summer break.
The only legal form of sports betting in Canada at the present time is parlay betting on multiple teams. The addition of single-game betting could open up this market to US books such as BetMGM.
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In a company statement, the addition of Gretzky is tied to BetMGM’s “hockey and North American marketing efforts.” There was no mention of his actual duties with the New Jersey-based sportsbook. Also, the company did not make any mention of the compensation he would receive in this new role.
As part of his own news release on this collaboration, Gretzky added the following comments:
“BetMGM is a terrific company and one at the forefront of the dynamic changes taking place in the sports business. I’m excited to a part of the company’s continued expansion into new states and territories and to help tell BetMGM’s story.”
The simple fact that he mentioned “territories” in this statement implies expansion into Canada. Many industry insiders see a wealth of opportunity north of border given the incredible success of legal sports betting in the US.
Earlier this year, DraftKings quantified this opportunity by projecting that online sports betting combined with iGaming in Canada could generate as much as US $8 billion in revenue down the road.
Deloitte Canada set the annual betting volume at $28 billion a year roughly five years after Canada legalizes single-game wagers.
Bill C-218 does have quite a bit of support among lawmakers in Canada. It has passed a second reading and it is now in the hands of the upper chamber’s banking committee.
The main issue at hand in Canada is the benefit of added tax revenue verse the risks of corruption in sports betting as well as problem gambling. Although the legislation is moving forward, any delays at this point of the process could push things to the fall when Parliament reconvenes.
It is possible that the Senate may seek to amend the legislation. If this were the case, C-218 would have to go back to the House of Commons as part of the reconsideration process. This could also prevent passage during the spring session.
Adding “The Great One” to the team is another good example of BetMGM’s commitment to growing its business in existing legal betting markets while also expanding into new ones.
Easily the most famous player in NHL history, Gretzky becomes an excellent asset for attracting hockey bettors in the US as well as in Canada should that market expand into single-game sports wagers.