With the commercial Ontario launch of sports betting in less than a month, the National Hockey League has its first sports betting partner.

At Wednesday, Ontario Lottery and Gaming announced a partnership with the NHL for its ProLine+ bookmaker in sports betting ON. Managed by the provincial lottery, ProLine+ was launched in August 2021 when provinces were allowed to regulate sports betting on a single event.

“The OLG-NHL agreement is a great win for our valued sports bettors,” said OLG’s chief digital and strategy officer. David Pridmore said in a statement. “Partnering with a world-class organization like the NHL will help complete the ultimate sports betting experience for hockey fans on PROLINE+ and PROLINE retail, where our players can execute legal wagers on a single event and other unique bets on a sport they love.”

Surcharges for sports betting in Ontario

NHL partnership precedes sixth in league Heritage Classic outdoor play between Toronto Maple Leafs and bison sabers to March 13 at Tim Hortons Land in Hamilton, Ont..

“As a leading gaming entertainment operator for more than four decades with an excellent track record in Ontario, OLG is an ideal partner for the NHL to begin our transformative entry into this space in Canada and to further engage our passionate Canadian fan base,” NHL SVP of North American Business Development Kyle McMan said in the press release.

Through this partnership, Ontario punters will see co-branded promotions on ProLine+ and lottery retail outlets, as well as additional digital content.

OLG prepares for market competition

Before the superbowlOLG has entered into a similar agreement with the NFL.

Earlier in FebruaryOLG launched new retail sports betting products at 10,000 retailers across the province.

Operators line up for Ontario

Ontario was the first province to announce its intention to open its sports betting market to commercial operators last year. Last month, regulators began approving registered sports betting operators in Ontario.

The first four approved are:

There is at least 30 applicants for sports betting licenses, according to precedents LSR reports.

Scramble for hockey sports betting partnerships

Ontario has a rich hockey environment, including two NHL teams in Toronto and Ottawa.

In JanuaryPointsbet has announced a partnership with the NHL Alumni Association become the organization’s exclusive sports betting partner in Canada.

BetMGM has a partnership with NHL grand Wayne Gretzky and recently signed current star Connor McDavid. FanDuel in partnership with the NHL bison sabersa team with a lot of support in Ontario.

Will Ontario pitch in time?

Questions abound a month before the commercial launch in Ontario. LSRit’s John Holden immersed in the question this week.

Perhaps chief among them is what regulators will do with gray market operators, some of whom seem set to stay put. A Canadian gambling source said LSR application will be difficult to accomplish.

Additionally, there is growing opposition, including from land-based casino operators and Indigenous nations.