Poker

iGaming in Canada: Ontario’s internet gambling market debut

The casino gaming market has high hopes as Ontario – Canada’s largest and most populous province – recently became the first jurisdiction to approve online betting.

In fact, as of April 4th, it is now possible in Ontario to enjoy online games, sports betting, and other App game activities. These are registered and legal sites that operate in the locally regulated market.

Ontario: Canada’s online sports betting base

In Ontario, what is emerging is a genuinely evolving and competitive market for online sports betting.

Several bookmakers – including Coolbet, FanDuel, PointsBet, and theScore Bet – tweeted that they officially went live on April 4th.

The new sports betting and online casino regulations allow bets to be legally accepted from within Ontario by private operators, rather than just the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp, run by the Canadian government.

This is a first-of-its-kind regulatory system in Canada that is likely to be followed by the jurisdictions of other provincial and territorial governments, should it prove to be an effective and productive regulatory framework.

Ontario’s regulatory framework currently outlined provides a balance between competition, job creation, investment, and the possibility of increased tax revenues to subsidize Ontario’s finances.

In fact, concerning job creation, Richard Schwartz, CEO of BetRivers, has hired 50 people in Toronto to take care of operations in Ontario.

As Scott Vanderwel – CEO of PointsBet Canada said: “We look forward to doing our part at PointsBet Canada gaming in Canada: Ontario’s internet gambling market debut.

The casino gaming market has high hopes as Ontario – Canada’s largest and most populous province – recently became the first jurisdiction to approve online betting.

In fact, as of April 4th, it is now possible in Ontario to enjoy online games, sports betting, and other App game activities. These are registered and legal sites that operate in the locally regulated market.

Ontario: Canada’s online sports betting base

In Ontario, what is emerging is a genuinely evolving and competitive market for online sports betting.

Several bookmakers – including Coolbet, FanDuel, PointsBet, and theScore Bet – tweeted that they officially went live on April 4th.

The new sports betting and online casino regulations allow bets to be legally accepted from within Ontario by private operators, rather than just the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp, run by the Canadian government.

This is a first-of-its-kind regulatory system in Canada that is likely to be followed by the jurisdictions of other provincial and territorial governments, should it prove to be an effective and productive regulatory framework.

The regulatory framework currently outlined in Ontario provides a balance between competition, job creation, investment, and the possibility of increased tax revenues to subsidize Ontario’s finances.

In fact, for job creation, Richard Schwartz, CEO of BetRivers, has hired 50 people in Toronto to take care of operations in Ontario.

As Scott Vanderwel – CEO of PointsBet Canada, said: “We look forward to doing our part at PointsBet Canada is proving that the model works while inspiring other provinces to consider a regulated legal framework.”

PointsBet spokesperson Patrick Eichner also said the prospect of opening up the online sports betting market in Ontario is important for a company that currently operates online stably and legally in several areas of the United States.

In short, the province of Ontario will be the base for Canadian sports betting as it looks to understand how to act and expand its business to the rest of the Canadian regions.

Which legal bookmakers are available in Ontario?

The expectation is that several operators will gradually enter the market, with at least 30 different bookmakers having applied to register with iGaming Ontario.

For now, 25 betting operators have registered with iGaming Ontario.

Each company must receive approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). In addition, each bookmaker must enter into an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO), the governmental and auxiliary agency of AGCO.

From the iGaming Ontario website, it is reported that there are currently 13 operators registered with the AGCO that have entered into an operating agreement with iGO (each one has online sportsbooks).

As a result, these new operators are ready for business in the iGaming market.

Here are the 13 operators that are eligible to start operating legally in the Canadian province of Ontario, opening up to the world of online betting:

  • 888
  • bet365
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars
  • Coolbet
  • FanDuel
  • LeoVegas
  • PointsBet
  • Rivalry
  • Royal Panda
  • theScore Bet
  • Unibet

The sites listed above will not be available at the same time, but in the coming weeks, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the number of participating operators will increase.

As a reminder, gamblers must be at least 19 years of age to register and start betting on the sites in Ontario’s new iGaming market.

In recent days, operators ready to accept online bets, such as PointsBet Canada, have been promoting their activities through advertising and marketing campaigns to reach potential customers before the launch.

For example, Canadian bookmaker theScore Bet has also created online advertisements featuring famous actors from the television programs Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage.

The past situation of online gambling in Ontario

Online spike slot games are not new in Ontario. Previously, there was a kind of “grey market” made up of websites operated outside of Canada and through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Last summer, the latter debuted with its bookmaker Proline+ after the federal government legalized single-event sports betting.

Undoubtedly, a regulated online gambling market will be a valuable tool to protect customers and ensure choice.

The Ontario government has identified the regulation of the iGaming market as a valuable tool to counteract the activity of offshore and out-of-province websites to move bettors to a legal and controlled market by the Ontario government.

In effect, Ontario’s plan is to give grey market operators an opportunity to come into compliance, but before that, they are required to first settle all bets previously collected in Ontario’s market.

With the new legislation, Ontarians will be protected by high standards and gaming integrity.

And since it is estimated that Ontarians wager hundreds of millions of dollars each year on sites in the so-called “grey” market, regulation is a top priority.

Also relevant, as we have already pointed out, is the possibility of profitable revenues from a growing market.

Peter Bethlenfalvy – spokesperson for the Minister of Finance – stated that the government had not budgeted any revenue from iGaming Ontario activity in the revenue forecast. However, more information will be forthcoming as the province prepares its annual budget this month, with some estimating revenues of up to $800 million for the first year.

Concerns of land-based casino operators

However, not all parts of the casino gaming market are enthusiastic about the new legislation in Ontario. Concerns are emerging from land-based casino operators, as well as unions. The fear is that with the latest online market, many casino gambling enthusiasts will move to online casinos and thus harm revenues and jobs at physical establishments.

A report by HLT Advisory for Great Canadian Gaming – the province’s largest casino operator – predicted a heavy impact on land-based casino jobs and lost revenue of $2.8 billion in the five years following the opening of the online market.

These figures have alarmed land-based casino owners already hard hit by the pandemic crisis, who have leveled criticism at the political class.

Emily Hogeveen, a spokeswoman for Bethlenfalvy, responded to these concerns, stating that the iGaming dimension complements land-based gaming activity, not a subtraction.

The goal is to provide additional opportunities for land-based gaming operators to differentiate their offerings by cross-promoting online and physical gaming operations.

Ontario’s measures against Pathological Gambling

The province of Ontario is also working to offset and counteract the potential harm caused by gambling.

In fact, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission has established harm reduction models, such as the requirement that each site has a mechanism to monitor players using these platforms.

Sites must have a mechanism in place to take into account whether the player may have “experienced harm” and are obliged to display “responsible gambling messages.” They will also have to offer 24-hour customer support resources but also self-exclusion options.

Finally, there are rules that prohibit ads aimed at an underage audience, as well as misleading ads.

The positive and negative sides involved in legalizing gambling

And as the province of Ontario debuts the introduction of a plurality of operators in the world of online betting, questions are being asked about the positive and negative aspects of the legalization of gambling. Independent scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health Nigel Turner, who has been dealing with pathological gambling and addiction problems for decades, said that there are indeed positive and negative sides to the legalization of online gambling activities.

Professor Nigel Turner has been dealing with pathological gambling problems for several years now. The scientist has been involved in documenting gambling addiction throughout history and has published several studies where he explores both sociocultural, religious, and medical influences on casino gambling, examining the relationships between technological changes, availability of casino games, and the definition of problem gambling.

Online betting is immediate and easier to access, and this increased availability could lead to more people becoming addicted to gambling. However, since people are gambling online anyway, legalization allows for more security and more controls and protection of the bettor.

So, let’s see what will happen. Nigel Turner will continue to observe the situation through statistics and calls to helpline numbers now that Ontario’s new Internet gambling market is open for business.

Conclusion on Ontario’s internet gambling market debut

When an operator of casino games encounters a new market, the potential prospects are many. Indeed, the legality and the plurality of operators are an enrichment in the offer proposed to the Canadian public, who, since April 4th, have more options.

However, since online casino games are an emerging and complex sector, it becomes necessary to continuously monitor and adjust according to how the Ontario public responds.

They prove that the model works while inspiring other provinces to consider a regulated legal framework”.

PointsBet spokesperson Patrick Eichner also said the prospect of opening up the online sports betting market in Ontario is important for a company that currently operates online stably and legally in several areas of the United States.

In short, the province of Ontario will be the base for Canadian sports betting as it looks to understand how to act and expand its business to the rest of the Canadian regions.

Which legal bookmakers are available in Ontario?

The expectation is that several operators will gradually enter the market, with at least 30 different bookmakers having applied to register with iGaming Ontario.

For now, 25 betting operators have registered with iGaming Ontario.

Each company, must receive approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). In addition, each bookmaker must enter into an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO), the governmental and auxiliary agency of AGCO.

From the iGaming Ontario website, it is reported that there are currently 13 operators registered with the AGCO that have entered into an operating agreement with iGO (each one has online sportsbooks).

As a result, these new operators are ready for business in the iGaming market.

Here are the 13 operators that are eligible to start operating legally in the Canadian province of Ontario, opening up to the world of online betting:

888

bet365

BetMGM

BetRivers

Caesars

Coolbet

FanDuel

LeoVegas

PointsBet

Rivalry

Royal Panda

theScore Bet

Unibet

The sites listed above will not be available simultaneously, but in the coming weeks, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the number of participating operators will increase.

Gamblers must be at least 19 years of age to register and start betting on Ontario’s new iGaming market sites.

In recent days, operators ready to accept online bets, such as PointsBet Canada, have been promoting their activities through advertising and marketing campaigns to reach potential customers before the launch.

For example, Canadian bookmaker theScore Bet has also created online advertisements featuring famous actors from the television programs Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage.

The past situation of online gambling in Ontario

Online spike slot games are not new in Ontario. Previously, there was a kind of “grey market” made up of websites operated outside of Canada and through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Last summer, the latter debuted with its bookmaker Proline+ after the federal government legalized single-event sports betting.

Undoubtedly, a regulated online gambling market will be a helpful tool to protect customers and ensure choice.

The Ontario government has identified the regulation of the iGaming market as a valuable tool to counteract the activity of offshore and out-of-province websites and move bettors to a legal and controlled market by the Ontario government.

In effect, Ontario plans to allow grey market operators to come into compliance, but before that, they must first settle all bets previously collected in Ontario’s market.

With the new legislation, Ontarians will be protected by high standards and gaming integrity.

And since it is estimated that Ontarians wager hundreds of millions of dollars each year on sites in the so-called “grey” market, regulation is a top priority.

Also relevant, as we have already pointed out, is the possibility of profitable revenues from a growing market.

Peter Bethlenfalvy – spokesperson for the Minister of Finance – stated that the government had not budgeted any revenue from iGaming Ontario activity in the revenue forecast. However, more information will be forthcoming as the province prepares its annual budget this month, with some estimating revenues of up to $800 million for the first year.

Concerns of land-based casino operators

However, not all parts of the casino gaming market are enthusiastic about the new legislation in Ontario. Concerns are emerging from land-based casino operators, as well as unions. The fear is that with the new online market, many casino gambling enthusiasts will move to online casinos and thus have a negative effect on revenues and jobs at physical establishments.

A report by HLT Advisory for Great Canadian Gaming – the province’s largest casino operator – predicted a heavy impact on land-based casino jobs and lost revenue of $2.8 billion in the five years following the opening of the online market.

These figures have alarmed land-based casino owners already hard hit by the pandemic crisis, who have leveled criticism at the political class.

Emily Hogeveen, a spokeswoman for Bethlenfalvy, responded to these concerns, stating that the iGaming dimension complements land-based gaming activity, not a subtraction.

The goal is to provide additional opportunities for land-based gaming operators to differentiate their offerings by cross-promoting online and physical gaming operations.

Ontario’s measures against Pathological Gambling

The province of Ontario is also working to offset and counteract the potential harm caused by gambling.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission has established harm reduction models, such as the requirement that each site has a mechanism to monitor players using these platforms.

Sites must have a mechanism in place to take into account whether the player may have “experienced harm” and are obliged to display “responsible gambling messages.” They will also have to offer 24-hour customer support resources but also self-exclusion options.

Finally, there are rules that prohibit ads aimed at an underage audience, as well as misleading ads.

The positive and negative sides involved in legalizing gambling

And as the province of Ontario debuts the introduction of a plurality of operators in the world of online betting, questions are being asked about the positive and negative aspects of the legalization of gambling. Independent scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health Nigel Turner, who has been dealing with pathological gambling and addiction problems for decades, said that there are indeed positive and negative sides to the legalization of online gambling activities.

Professor Nigel Turner has been dealing with pathological gambling problems in the round for several years now. In fact, the scientist has not only been involved in documenting gambling addiction throughout history but has published several studies where he explores both sociocultural, religious, and medical influences on casino gambling, examining the relationships between technological changes, availability of casino games, and definition of problem gambling.

Online betting is immediate and easier to access, and this increased availability could lead to more people becoming addicted to gambling. However, since people are gambling online anyway, legalization allows for more security and more controls and protection of the bettor.

So, let’s see what will happen. Nigel Turner will continue to observe the situation through statistics and calls to helpline numbers now that Ontario’s new Internet gambling market is open for business.

Conclusion on Ontario’s internet gambling market debut

When an operator of casino games encounters a new market, the potential prospects are many. Indeed, the legality and the plurality of operators are an enrichment in the offer proposed to the Canadian public, who, since April 4th, have more options.

However, since online casino games are an emerging and complex sector, it becomes necessary to continuously monitor and adjust according to how the Ontario public responds.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button