Just a stroke past midnight on Monday, April 4, the Ontario online casino and sports betting markets underwent a seismic shift.
At that moment, the province allowed a long list of private sector operators of online casinos and Ontario sportsbooks to serve the Ontario market.
Until now, Crown corporation Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s OLG.ca and Proline sportsbook were the only legal game in town. No more.
13 operators cleared for Day 1 launch by iGO; who will?
So far, 27 operators have registered with the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario. At the last report, 13 of those had entered into commercial agreements with its subsidiary iGaming Ontario. More are expected very soon.
It’s no wonder. Ontario’s nearly 15 million people make it the fifth-largest gaming jurisdiction in North America. The province could generate around $800 million in gross revenue this year alone.
For the first time, Ontarian players have near unlimited gaming choices. Today, all players 19 and older can play on any authorized gaming site and are no longer beholden to OLG. That means Ontario’s gamblers will be able to choose from big players like BetMGM and those newer to the game like PointsBet Canada, theScore Bet and BetRivers.
Which operators entered Ontario?
To get a better picture of just how much choice Ontario now has, check out this list of the operators approved so far:
- BetMGM Canada
- Royal Panda
- theScore Bet
- Dream Vegas
- Gate 777
- Hello Casino
- Jackpot Village
And we can expect more operators to make their appearance over the following days and weeks.
Further, 28 gaming suppliers have registered with the AGCO and iGO and are ready to provide their games and services. The list includes big names like Play’n GO, Pragmatic, Entain, Relax Gaming and Nolimit City.
Passing the RG check
Apart from the agreement with iGO, all operators received accreditation by RG Check, administered by the Responsible Gambling Council.
The accreditation program is embedded in the sustainability and responsible gambling requirements.
Numerous attempts lead to Ontario’s market launch
Initially, we expected Ontario to launch its online casino and sports betting market last December, but the opening stalled into 2022. On Jan. 28, the government announced that the new market would launch on April 4.
Several legal changes led to the opening.
Bill C-218 coming into law on Aug. 27, 2021, paved the way for provinces to introduce single-event sports betting to existing lottery options.
After nearly a decade and multiple attempts, Canadians gained the right to place bets on a single game or event. Now, Ontario’s leading the way with its open market. It will be interesting to see if the other provinces follow.