Ontario Opens Legal Online Gambling Market – Online Casino
The Canadian province of Ontario officially launched its legal and regulated online gambling market today (April 4).
The opening follows nearly three years of work after the provincial government revealed plans to end the lottery’s online gambling monopoly in April 2019. In 2020, the government introduced legislation allowing a licensing regime.
In September of last year, the province released its final standards for online betting and gaming. Rules for online games include a ban on autoplay and a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds for slot machines.
iGaming Ontario, the subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), will be responsible for regulating the new market, as well as licensing operators and vendors.
Prior to the market opening, iGaming Ontario distributed a series of licenses, with a host of major brands approved to operate in the province.
PointsBet, theScore, Rivalry, Rush Street Interactive, Bet365, FanDuel and 888 all have secure licenses to offer online gambling in Ontario, while providers such as Inspired Entertainment, Play’n Go and High 5 Games have also been allowed to work with licensed operators.
Before the market opened, the AGCO warned operators in the process of obtaining a license to go out of business or risk their applications failing.
In a guide published “to help Internet gaming operators apply for registration,” the AGCO set out plans to take “strong action to combat any remaining unregulated activity in the Ontario marketplace in partnership with law enforcement.” ‘order’.
All companies that applied for registration prior to the April 4 launch were required to cease operations in Ontario once their registration was approved by AGCO.
Among the operators that went live on opening day in Ontario was PointsBet, which, through its PointsBet Canada subsidiary, rolled out online igaming and sports betting operations.
“Moments after 12:00 p.m. local time this morning, PointsBet Canada became one of the first private sportsbooks to take legal betting,” said PointsBet Canada Managing Director Scott Vanderwel.
“On behalf of the entire PointsBet Canada team, I’d like to share how excited we are to see the province’s sports betting market officially open.”
Ahead of the opening, FanDuel Group, owned by Flutter Entertainment, said it would also start taking bets from today, having been granted a license to offer both sports betting and gambling. in Ontario.
“We are thrilled to open our Canadian office and bring FanDuel’s world-class sportsbook and casino to passionate sports fans across Canada,” said FanDuel’s Managing Director, Amy Howe. “This is a great time for the industry and we look forward to providing Canadians with fun and responsible sports experiences. »
Meanwhile, content provider High 5 Games has confirmed its titles are live with a number of operators on the first day of legal gambling in Ontario.
“Our games have been on the floors of many Canadian land-based casinos for decades, and now Ontario players can play them online at responsible gaming sites they know and trust,” said the manager. General of High 5 Games, Tony Singer.
“The potential for growth in Canada is enormous, and we look forward to expanding our presence in Ontario and beyond.
The Gambling.com Group affiliate also said it will begin providing marketing services to licensed online sports betting and gaming operators in Ontario starting today.
In anticipation of the launch, in November 2021 the group launched OntarioBets.com, a free site that allows players in the province to compare sports betting and legal online casinos.
“The launch of regulated online sports betting and gambling is a major milestone and achievement for the gaming industry in Ontario,” said Gambling.com Group Managing Director Charles Gillespie.
“The province is taking the right approach by keeping barriers to entry low and allowing a variety of operators to enter the market. This will promote competition and ultimately benefit consumers as the operators with the best products rise to the top. The Gambling.com Group is well placed to help operators and customers succeed in this exciting new market. »