The launch of this legal market shall bring to a close a process that officially began in April 2019 when Ontario’s government decided to initiate plans to bring to an end the monopoly enjoyed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Additionally, this move was aimed at allowing private operators to penetrate the market easily. This process was later actualised in November 2020, with legislation introduced and passed the following year.
In September of 2021, AGCO ultimately released its last igaming sports and event betting regulatory standards, which also included integrity rules and changes to advertising. It is also important to note that single-event sports betting officially began in Canada on August 27 of the same year but is at the moment being offered by provincial lotteries only.
All these rules have since been integrated into the existing Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming belonging to AGCO, which was officially published on 14th July 2021. These rules shall now come into effect during the launch on the 4th of April, allowing Ontario gamblers to enjoy a variety of new online casinos.
Starting from April 4th, AGCO’s private gaming operators that have an active operating agreement with iGO can start their operations and offer games to Ontario players.
iGO’s executive director Martha Otton mentioned during a press conference that all gamers could rest assured that all companies that successfully join this new market would have checked certain standards of player protection, fairness, social responsibility, and game and operator integrity. Doing so shall allow consumers to play with more confidence. Such measures shall prevent prevailing issues such as underage gambling and ensure that all laws are adhered to.
She also added that her team found out that a huge portion of internet gambling in Ontario did not take place on websites that were managed by the province. She, later on, mentioned that the new gaming market shall offer gamers an enhanced experience, promote the growth of the new market and generate even greater revenues that shall fund other programs in the province to everyone’s benefit.
After launch, Ontario could be on track to become one of the most attractive online betting markets in North America due to factors such as the number of brands in the area, population size, and the number of bonuses offered to players.