Pinnacle Sports Has Obtained a Sports Betting License in Canada: Is the US Next?

Written by:
C Costigan
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Pinnacle Sports has been granted the right to offer sports betting in Ontario, Canada, a move that U.S. regulators are likely monitoring closely.


Pinnacle Sports was once prominent in the U.S. so-called "grey" market prior to the passage of Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.  While they still took bets from U.S. citizens thereafter, an indictment of payment processor Neteller resulted in Pinnacle ultimately leaving the market voluntarily. 

Pinnacle was, and still is, among the sharpest books on the planet.  It operates in Curacao, one of the leading online gaming licensing jurisdictions in the world (though few companies are actually physically based there). 

We had the pleasure of visiting them while in Curacao years back before they even had a website and considered one of their co-founders, George, among our dearest of friends all the years that followed long after he left the company.  He just happened to be the godfather of a legendary rocker's kid, all grown up now.

George was among the funnest guy in the industry, which is a bit of a contradiction being that the company's DNA traces back to the "Computer Group", credited in gamblers’ lore with bringing the first computer-based betting schemes to sports books (per the New York Times).  Translation:  They were on the same plane as scientists and engineers.

While Pinnacle has made the switch, its website is not yet live in the province.  No information was yet available on Pinnacle’s launch date in the province.

SportsInteraction is also approved for a license to operate in Ontario, according to Sports Handle.  There is a bit of an irony there in that Sports Interaction twenty years ago billed itself as "a pioneering online wager service based in Montreal Canada".  That's because they were the first book ever to take bets from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Quebec, Canada, but on sovereign land. In recent years, Sports Interaction has only taken bets from Canadian residents.

Outside of this week's debacle with FanDuel, whereby customers had the ability to access each other's betting accounts and maybe even withdraw funds from said accounts based on some reports, Canada seems to be doing everything right. has called Canada home since 2004.

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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