DraftKings And NFL Moving Into Canada

By Ben Hamill - February 09 2021
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DraftKings And NFL Moving Into Canada

DraftKings, the official daily fantasy sports partner of the National Football League (NFL), is taking its operations north of the border to Canada. Forged back in September 2019, the partnership’s operations were until now restricted to the United States.

While there are no NFL teams based north of the border, the league remains exceptionally popular in Canada – even despite competition from the Canadian Football League. So much so, that between 2008 and 2013, the legendary Buffalo Bills played a regular season game in Toronto each year. And this popularity obviously means an incredible opportunity for the partnership and their daily fantasy sports (DFS) collaboration.

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Boosting Public Brand Visibility

Even though daily fantasy sports enthusiasts are already permitted to play via DraftKings in Canada, the NFL’s involvement in the partnership will ensure that the company becomes a great deal more visible and present in the public domain. The brand said it looks forward to capitalising on the anticipated boost of its brand, and especially so with the possibility of the legalisation of single-event sports betting in mind.

Canadian legislators are currently reviewing a bill that seeks to legalise the placing of bets on single sports events. Should the bill be successfully passed, each Canadian province and territory will have authority over local sports betting regulation. The bill includes online as well as physical brick-and-mortar sports books.

Working with the NFL, and specifically so in Canada, marks an important and unique localisation opportunity for the daily fantasy sports betting brand, said Chief Business Officer at DraftKings, Ezra Kucharz.

Looking Ahead To Legalisation

The legal developments around the proposed sports betting bill is an exciting moment for industry role-players in the country. According to estimates projected by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), billions in revenue is each year lost to black market sports book operators, revenue the association says is only lost due to a lack of proper regulation.

A letter sent by commissioners of all five the major sports leagues currently operating in Canada, which letter was sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June last year, urges the PM and his cabinet to legalise single-event sports betting in the country. Commissioners of the CFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, and NHL, all agree that sports betting is the perfect way for fans looking for additional excitement to engage with the sports they love and enjoy.

CGA President and Chief Executive Paul Burns says he believes that a legalised sports betting industry will do wonders for the country’s economy and for creating new jobs and revenue.

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