Coolbet Exits Ontario Sports Betting But Stays In Canada Gray Markets

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Ontario sports betting

As the first year of legal Ontario sports betting nears an end, one operator is shutting down its sportsbook in the province. 

The GAN Limited-owned Coolbet announced last week it will shut down April 3. Ontario sports betting launched April 4, 2022. The company will remain available in the Canada sports betting gray market outside of Ontario, and has no plans to enter US sports betting markets.

While information in ON sports betting revenue reports has been sparse, Coolbet acknowledges it did not secure enough market share to be worthwhile.

“We are constantly evaluating the markets we operate in to assess the capital needed to support market share and the returns on those investments,” according to a statement provided by a GAN spokesperson. “The highly competitive and promotional nature of the Ontario market did not present an acceptable return profile consistent with our requirements. As such, we have elected to reallocate resources to our highest-ROI opportunities.”

What this means for GAN and Coolbet

GAN, primarily a B2B technology provider, acquired Coolbet for $177 million in 2020. Along with the B2C sportsbook, GAN also received Coolbet’s proprietary sports betting platform to go along with its offerings for its B2B customers.

Coolbet operates in 10 markets, according to GAN. In January, the sportsbook launched in Mexico. A Coolbet spokesperson said the sportsbook will remain focused on international markets that will generate “the highest ROIs, particularly Latin America.”

Effect on Ontario sports betting?

Coolbet was one of the first operators to launch in Ontario last April. The sportsbook partnered with various sports entities, including six-time Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse. Despite the early-mover advantage, Coolbet likely got lost in the barrage of sportsbook launches since then. 

The market includes major North American sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel, and former gray-market operators like bet365 and Betway. There are more than 70 iGaming sites live in Ontario.

Last August, GAN executives said during an earnings call that the Ontario launch was “slower than expected.” In Ontario, GAN still has plenty of exposure as a supplier for some big-name sportsbooks.

GAN’s B2B-focus in US sports betting

The Coolbet spokesperson said GAN remains focused on its B2B product offerings in the US.

He noted last month’s GAN Sports retail sports betting platform launch at the in-person WynnBet Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor for MA sports betting. The sportsbook includes 120 kiosks throughout the casino, with another 20 in the parking garage.

The Nasdaq-traded GAN will announce its fourth-quarter earnings March 30.

Players can keep Coolbet bonuses

The operator will turn off all deposit options Tuesday, and the casino and sportsbook will close Wednesday. Bets with unknown outcomes will be voided and refunded.

The sportsbook is also waving playthrough requirements for bonus funds, allowing customers to withdraw remaining bonuses as cash.

The website and mobile app will both shut down by the end of the day April 3, when its registration with iGaming Ontario expires.