How Can New GM Help FanDuel Canada Sports Betting Effort?

Posted on October 25, 2021
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Written By on October 25, 2021

Sportsbook operators continue to position themselves for Canada sports betting market share.

Last week, FanDuel Sportsbook announced former Rogers Communications executive Dale Hooper as general manager of its Canada operation. Hooper will focus on the company’s long-term goals for Canada sports betting.

“Dale has a proven track record running high growth enterprises along with strong relationships that will be invaluable to our success in Canada,” FanDuel Group CEO Amy Howe said in a release. “He is a respected leader known for his ability to scale business units effectively, a critical skill set, as we aim to bring the excitement of our sportsbook and igaming products to Canadian citizens. It’s with great excitement that I welcome him to our team.”

Hooper reports directly to Howe, who was named permanent CEO of FanDuel Group Oct. 4.

Hooper brings Canada regulatory experience to FanDuel

Hooper was president and CEO of Cannabis Compliance Inc., a consultancy for the highly regulated Canadian cannabis industry. Deloitte acquired Cannabis Compliance in December 2019.

Deloitte published a white paper on Canada sports betting earlier this year, which piqued Hooper’s interest in the industry, according to the Toronto Star.

“It is an incredible time to be a part of the growing sports gaming industry, and I look forward to joining Amy and the team as we bring the No. 1 Sportsbook to Canada,” Hooper said. “I am proud to be joining the industry leader at such a momentous time.”

Prior to his time at Cannabis Compliance, Hooper was chief brand officer at Rogers Communication. At Rogers, he helped market the $5.2 billion NHL rights deal the media giant signed in 2014.

Push into Canada sports betting

FanDuel is just the latest company to name its Canada sports betting leadership. Other sportsbooks are also eager to grab a piece of the pie in Great White North.

PointsBet named Scott Vanderwel, also a former Rogers executive, as CEO of PointsBet Canada. Along with other leadership team hires, PointsBet secured a deal with Curling Canada.

Last week, NorthStar Gaming announced former Panasonic North America CEO Michael Moskowitz as CEO and founding partner, as it prepares a commercial sportsbook and iCasino. NorthStar also entered into a partnership with Torstar Corp., the parent of the Toronto Star.

Ontario sports betting is key

With more than 35% of Canada’s population and as the only province with announced plans for an open commercial sports betting market, sportsbook operators are focused on Ontario sports betting.

The nearly 15 million residents would make Ontario the fifth-largest state in the US.

According to a PlayCanada analysis, Ontario could generate more than $800 million in operator revenue annually.

Other operators pushing into Canada sports betting

DraftKings appears focused on football north of the border, where it extended its DFS partnership with the NFL earlier this year. Ontario bettors gravitated toward football when the lottery’s ProLine+ launched in August.

BetMGM is sweet on hockey, signing deals with The Hockey News and Wayne Gretzky.

Penn National Gaming acquired Toronto-based Score Media this summer, a deal that could close this week. Prior to the acquisition, theScore entered an agreement with Canlan Sports to target adult recreational hockey players.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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