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“Safe, regulated betting,” Waugh said. “That’s all we’re asking for. I think it’s time that we move forward on this.”
Canadian companies have taken note of North America’s growing gambling industry. Telecom giant Rogers Communications Inc. (which registered to lobby the federal government regarding Bill C-218) put up a job posting last month looking for someone to fill “the exciting new role of Director, Sports Gaming.”
That job, Rogers said, would entail eyeing potential partners and acquisition targets, among other things.
“This is a unique opportunity to be at the centre of Rogers Media and Sportsnet’s bold strategy of integrating Sports Betting into some of our core consumer offerings and to help us engage with our fans in new and exciting ways,” the posting said.
Some of Rogers current offerings include the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and its Sportsnet television channels. Rival BCE Inc. also has a site focused on sports betting that is run by its TSN division.
A Rogers spokesperson said it was too early to share further details, but the company isn’t alone in Canada in trying to tap into the betting business.
Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc., which has more than three million average monthly active users of its media app, also has another app through which gamblers can place wagers in New Jersey, Colorado and Indiana.
“And it looks like we’re really close to it happening in Canada,” said John Levy, founder and CEO of TheScore. “We’re very, very excited about the prospect all over North America, but particularly in Canada, because I don’t think we’re going to take a backseat to anybody up here.”