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FanDuel and Pokerstars strike partnership with Toronto NHL, NBA teams


Flutter brands PokerStars and FanDuel have entered into a partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), which owns Toronto’s National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) teams.

The deal designates FanDuel’s sportsbook as an official sports betting partner of MLSE, while Pokerstars has been named as its official gaming partner.

Under the deal, both operators will offer players in Ontario entertainment options across sports, poker and casino gaming.

FanDuel’s sportsbook, Pokerstars and Pokerstars Casino will have rights to use MLSE in advertising and marketing, and both operators will be featured prominently during Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors games.

FanDuel, along with Bet365 and Unibet among others, received a license to operate in Ontario before the province launched its regulated online gambling market earlier this week.

In March FanDuel withdrew its daily fantasy product from Ontario, in line with the province’s regulations for licensees.

But Pokerstars will have to be certified by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the province’s online gaming market, before it can launch its product.

“The Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC are pioneering franchises and major pillars in Canadian sports culture,” said Dale Hooper, general manager at FanDuel Canada. “As we bring FanDuel to Ontario, we want to collaborate with globally recognized enterprises like MLSE to bring unique content experiences to some of Canada’s most dedicated sports fans.”

The partnership will also allow FanDuel and Pokerstars to pen marketing integration deals with MLSE teams, which include Toronto FC, the Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Marlies.

“We have epic plans for our community in Canada, and are excitedly looking forward to creating some incredible experiences in our birth country, when we launch very soon,” said Tom Warren, PokerStars marketing director. “Partnering with MLSE gives us the opportunity to reach passionate fans across Ontario with a wide remit of poker and casino, heighten experiences wherever we can, and be a part of some major winning moments.”