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Rivalry to apply for Ontario betting and gaming licenses


Esports-focused betting operator Rivalry has submitted an application for an Ontario sports betting and online gaming license.

Rivalry submitted its application to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and said it expects to offer both sports betting and its multiplayer Rushlane casino content to Ontario-based customers in the first half of 2022.

Steven Salz, co-founder and chief executive of Rivalry, said he was particularly excited to submit the license application as Rivalry is based in Toronto.

“As a Toronto-based company, and long-standing member of the tech ecosystem here, we could not be more excited for the opportunity to finally offer our incredible product and brand experiences at home in our own backyard,” Salz said. “We applaud the government of Ontario for its leadership in developing a robust licensing regime for igaming. 

“Ontario’s igaming framework has the potential to set an international precedent for how to successfully launch an open licensing model in North America, protect consumers through prudent responsible gambling practices, and attract and create thousands of highly paid tech jobs in Ontario.”

Ontario published its draft standards for regulated online betting and gaming markets in August, soon after Canada legalised single-event wagering, before releasing the finalised standards last month.

The state’s sports betting rules include a number of marketing restrictions and a requirement for operators to sign up to an official integrity body such as the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA). The gaming rules, meanwhile, include a number of product restrictions such as a minimum spin time for slots.

However, concerns have been raised about the legality of Ontario’s igaming liberalization, due to concerns that the licensing model would mean the provincial government would not  “conduct and manage” online gambling as required in Canada’s criminal code.

Earlier this month, Rivalry appointed media and technology executive Kirstine Stewart to its board.