Customers of online gambling in Canada can now place bets in the province of Ontario. Regulated wagering was launched at the beginning of April. From April 4, 2022 onwards, betters have been able to play with operators overseen by the iGaming Ontario (iGO). Both consumers and government regulators enjoyed this news.
iGO is part of the province’s wider Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). It works alongside the government to support sustainable gambling and wagering within their jurisdiction. After the launch in April, Ontario now has an online casino and digital gaming sector. The government responds to the ongoing growth of this form of gambling.
Increased Protection for Players – And More Revenue for the Government
This is an important step for the Ontario government as this could greatly increase the tax revenue received from gamers. A recent study carried out by PlayCanada found that online casino gambling has been a key driver for tax revenue in the neighbouring United States. It outstrips the revenue provided by sportsbook operators by more than threefold.
Martha Otton, the executive director of iGO, was optimistic about the benefits the move would provide to the government of Ontario and to its people. In a statement, Otton discussed how many Ontarians are already accessing casino gaming providers that are unregulated and unlicensed within the province. This is impacting heavily on government revenues and on the sustainability of iGaming. Following the launch, Otton said a “new, legal market” will begin to grow and develop as it will generate revenue. The revenue “can help fund programs and services that benefit all of us.”
The iGO executive director also touched on player protections and social responsibility.
“With new regulation, consumers can be assured that companies who successfully enter the new Ontario market will have met rigorous standards of game and operator integrity, fairness, player protections and social responsibility,” she said.
“Prevention of underage access, ensuring compliance with applicable laws including anti-money laundering rules and regulations, and measures to enable more responsible gambling are just a few of the assurances consumers can expect in the new market as of April 4.”
Looking South to Discover How Online Betting Will Work in Canada
Interest in online betting in Canada is growing, and the latest moves in Ontario will both reflect this growth and fuel it. All successful license holders will need to sign up to an operating agreement with iGO – approved by AGCO. They must adhere to a series of regulatory controls when they operate within the province. It is expected that around 50 entities will receive licenses in this early phase. This includes 16 online gambling operators and 34 providers of software and other products.
The study from PlayCanada showed that regulated online gambling in Ontario and across Canada can be a success. By examining the United States’ model, authorities can navigate the roll-out of online wagering in a smooth, sustainable and mutually beneficial manner.
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