Dale Hooper has some experience helping companies transition to a legal landscape and get through the somewhat painful and cumbersome regulatory process.
Two years ago, Hooper was running a cannabis compliance in Mississauga when it was bought by Deloitte Canada after the Canadian government passed the Cannabis Act. Fast forward to early 2021 when a Deloitte report on opportunities for a legal single event sports betting industry in Canada caught his attention.
In late August, nearly three years after the federal government blessed cannabis legalization, it gave the provinces the green light to license and regulate single betting and online gambling.
Next week, Hooper will be officially announced as general manager of the new Canadian business of FanDuel, the North American online sports betting and daily fantasy sports giant.
“Deloitte released this white paper earlier this year, I started talking to a few people and I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be fun,'” Hooper, who started his new role this week, told the previous Thursday afternoon Star jumping on a flight to his New Brunswick home.
“It reminds me of cannabis. They take something that was once illegal and make it legal. That’s great. That is good for consumers. “
Hooper’s time in the legal cannabis business (“When I got in three years ago, it was moving at the speed of sound”) and his background in marketing and partnerships will be extremely useful in his new role. While it remains unclear when the Ontario Alcohol and Gambling Commission will allow sports betting providers to offer single bets, that hasn’t stopped interested gamers from opening a shop while they prepare to open their digital doors.
NorthStar Gaming announced on Tuesday that former Panasonic North America Chairman and CEO Michael Moskowitz is joining as CEO and founding partner. As a partner of Torstar Corporation, which owns the Star, NorthStar Gaming plans to launch an online betting brand and sportsbook in Ontario as soon as allowed.
PointsBet’s Canadian store, which opened this spring, announced a number of partnerships, including a multi-year agreement with Curling Canada as the official betting partner and title sponsor for a new Season of Champions event starting next year. The deal gives PointsBet Canada exclusivity when it comes to promoting more than 300 hours of TSN coverage of Curling Canada competitions per season for the next five years.
“A lot of people rush in here,” said Hooper, Rogers Communications chief brand officer who led the company’s ice hockey marketing plan after winning a 12-year deal for NHL broadcast and multimedia for $ 5.2 billion had rights from 2014.
“Who brings the right technology, has the right focus on responsible gaming? Our focus is on doing what’s right for Canadian sports fans. “
That won’t be cheap, although FanDuel is not shy about attracting customers for its sports betting and daily fantasy products in the United States. FanDuel spent more than $ 420 million on marketing in the first half of 2021 and became the NFL’s first sports betting partner to join sports betting and daily fantasy rivals DraftKings and Caesars. The company opened a sports betting company at Meadowlands Racetrack in September and helped New Jersey overtake Las Vegas in October to become the leader in sports betting in the United States with a record $ 803 million stake.
“Given the limited number of sports team partnerships, sports betting thinks not only of the value they gain from partnering, but also the value they deny to a competitor,” said Chris Grove, partner at Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, referring to the extensive and expensive deals between leagues, teams and sports betting providers.
Before the regular NHL season opened on Tuesday, DraftKings announced its new contract with the league as the official betting, Daily Fantasy and iGaming partner, as well as the exclusive sports betting and daily fantasy provider for Turner Network’s NHL coverage . Turner is a US national rights holder for the first time and plans to incorporate DraftKings content into its NHL broadcasts.
DraftKings and FanDuel have been among the NHL’s seven sports betting partners in the US since 2018 when the country’s Supreme Court lifted a ban on single bets. The companies are recognized as leading contenders for partnerships with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Rogers Sports & Media, and Bell Media. The winning bidder will have broad reach for Ontario sports fans – and potential bettors – in North America’s fifth largest market.
“I’m only on the third day,” said Hooper, grinning, and added, “We’re going to do the right thing for business. We’ll talk when we have something to discuss. “
Steve McAllister is the editor-in-chief of The Parleh sports betting newsletter. He lives in Toronto as a freelance worker for Star’s sports division. Follow him on Twitter: @StevieMacSports
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