Ontario Regulators ‘Draw A Line In The Sand’ For Grey Market

Written By Robyn McNeil on June 16, 2022
ontario online gambling grey market deadline

It could be the beginning of the end for online gambling apps still operating outside the law in Ontario.

Regulating grey market operators was a topic of discussion during Day 2 at the Canadian Gaming Summit held last week in Toronto.

Tom Mungham, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) CEO, said:

“We signalled long ago that we will, at some point, declare this market regulated and unregulated. For those operators in the queue, we’re like, ‘Let’s go, let’s get your paperwork in, let’s hustle.’

“We are now at two months. So, we are internally reviewing the tools we can use, whether they are legislative. That allows us to draw a line in the sand, to make the market regulated and unregulated, legal and illegal.”

Blackout possible for grey Ontario gambling apps

Mungham indicated that those still not ready to operate as a legal Ontario online gambling entity may have to shutter until they receive the required registrations and approval to relaunch.

Read More: Which Ontario Gambling Apps are Legal? Here’s a Guide.

He also said AGCO is paying close attention to what AGCO-regulated suppliers still serve grey market operators:

“We’ve set up accounts with well in excess of 200 unregulated market sites, principally to assess whether or not the suppliers will continue to do business with these sites, one of the linchpins of our regulatory framework.”

Whether the risk of a pause makes operators and suppliers speed up transition or cut-off customers remains a mystery.

Where are the online gaming revenue reports?

As far as the regulated gambling market goes, Ontarians are left to wonder about its financial viability.

So far, the revenue numbers for legal gaming in Ontario have been conspicuously absent in Ontario. Many jurisdictions, particularly in the US, report gambling revenue monthly.

Until now, Ontario’s recent election was the excuse for lack of stats. With the election in the rearview, Martha Otton, iGaming Ontario’s executive director, reassured the industry that the numbers are coming.

Otton said at the gaming summit:

“We intend to be transparent and hope to release (numbers) in the near future.”

That news is certainly welcome. But, with the swearing-in of Premier Ford’s new cabinet not happening until late June, the wait’s not yet over.

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Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor. She lives in Halifax in an empty nest with a mischievous cat and a penchant for good stories, strong tea, cheeseburgers, yoga, graveyards, hammocks, gardening, games, herb, and hoppy beer.

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