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NHL's sports betting deals expand to Canada

The NHL has new multiyear deals with FanDuel and BetMGM that make them the league's first North American sports betting partners, after the launch of regulated single-game sports betting in Ontario, Canada.

FanDuel and BetMGM became the NHL's first official betting partners in 2018, with FanDuel named the league's exclusive daily fantasy partner. That partnership now extends to Canada, where sports wagering was legalized last summer.

In jurisdictions across Canada and the United States where sports betting is legal, the two companies have the rights to use official NHL branding and category designations in wager offerings. They'll also continue to receive custom content across NHL-controlled media channels, like FanDuel's creation of NHL Network's first-ever Odds Ticker.

"Canada's new sports betting landscape presents a tremendous opportunity to further fan engagement and continue our progressive approach with the sports gaming industry," said Keith Wachtel, NHL chief business officer and senior executive vice president. "BetMGM and FanDuel were our first sports betting partners in the U.S., and we're thrilled to expand our partnerships with both of these leaders in the sportsbook and mobile betting marketplace as we begin our transformative entry into this space in Canada and engage our avid Canadian fan base."

In June 2021, Bill C-218 removed the federal ban on sports wagering in Canada. Previously, only horse racing and parlay betting -- wagering on multiple games at the same time -- were legal. The bill allows for single-game sports betting and futures betting, such as predicting which team would eventually win a championship.

On April 4, Ontario became the first province to launch regulated sports wagering, as 13 sportsbook apps began taking single-game event bets. Estimates are that legalized single-game wagering could generate $800 million in the province this year, according to the CBC.

As a result, sportsbooks have started aggressively courting Canadian fans. Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews signed a multiyear deal to promote Canadian sportsbook Bet99. BetMGM recently added Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid as a brand ambassador, with him joining Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky in promoting that sportsbook.