Flutter Entertainment plc brands PokerStars and FanDuel Sportsbook are joining forces with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), which operates five different Toronto-based professional sports franchises, including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.
In what is described as a strategic partnership, MLSE will designate FanDuel Sportsbook as an official sports-betting partner, while PokerStars and PokerStars Casino, collectively, will be designated as an official MLSE gaming partner.
The partnership, according to a Flutter statement, is the first of its kind for the company in North America. The deal will bring FanDuel and PokerStars ads and signage to the MLSE teams’ venues, while also allowing the Flutter brands the use of the MLSE teams’ marks in their own marketing and promotional campaigns. The PokerStars portion of the deal is contingent upon the brand’s successful registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and the execution of an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario, a process that is already underway.
Besides the NHL’s Maple Leafs and the NBA’s Raptors, the deal includes the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC. No timeline has been announced regarding any of the Flutter brands’ integration into MLSE’s teams and venues.
According to Tom Warren, PokerStars’ Marketing Director, “We have epic plans for our community in Canada and are excitedly looking forward to creating some incredible experiences in our birth country, when we launch very soon. Partnering with MLSE gives us the opportunity to reach passionate fans across Ontario with a wide remit of poker and casino, heighten experiences wherever we can, and be a part of some major winning moments.”
“The Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC are pioneering franchises and major pillars in Canadian sports culture,” added Dale Hooper, the General Manager of FanDuel Canada. “As we bring FanDuel to Ontario, we want to collaborate with globally recognized enterprises like MLSE to bring unique content experiences to some of Canada’s most dedicated sports fans.”
Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, MLSE, noted how the deal works within the ongoing opening of Ontario’s online-gambling market. “We are thrilled to partner with Flutter Entertainment, a global leader and one of the most trusted operators in the sports betting industry,” Vader said. “As the online gaming markets open in Ontario, we have worked hard to find partners who aligned with both our vision for innovation, and our values including a shared commitment to responsible gaming. We look forward to working with Flutter and providing a platform for them to engage with the millions of 19+ Ontario residents who are fans of our teams.”
Featured image source: theleafsnation.com