More online poker options are coming to Ontario players.
Playtech, a major gambling software company, is partnering with Toronto-based NorthStar Bets to create a poker network in the Ontario online gambling market later this year. Other Playtech licensees could join, including Coolbet and Bet365.
NorthStar Bets to launch Ontario online poker first
As NorthStar’s strategic software and services supplier, Playtech delivers its IMS platform, casino and live casino services to Ontario.
NorthStar Bets will launch Ontario online poker later this year.
For Playtech, launching its new software and services with NorthStar marks a milestone in the company’s North American strategy.
As Playtech’s COO, Shimon Akad, pointed out in a press release:
“Essential to Playtech’s success is our ability to form key strategic partnerships with industry leading [sic] operators around the world. NorthStar Bets is uniquely positioned to become one of Ontario’s premier operators, and we’re delighted to be working alongside them to build a market leading [sic] responsible gambling proposition.”
The company continues to work with partners to establish an Ontario online poker network.
NorthStar to launch Playtech’s full online gambling stack
Torstar’s NorthStar Bets currently only operates in Ontario. With the recent Playtech IMS platform and casino technology rollout, NorthStar Bet’s offerings significantly expanded.
The latest addition includes Playtech’s robust back-end and live casino services.
Michael Moskowitz, CEO at NorthStar Gaming said:
“NorthStar Bets puts consumers at the centre of an immersive and content-driven experience. Our partnership with Playtech means that we are able to deliver an engaging and enjoyable online experience with the highest level of player protection.
Consumers are looking for content that caters to their individual preferences and interests, and alongside Playtech’s unrivalled multichannel technology, we are uniquely positioned to become a leader in the Canadian iGaming market.”
So far, NorthStar Bets went live with Playtech’s software for online and mobile sports betting. But Canada’s homegrown company plans to launch Playtech’s complete portfolio.
Chances of expanding online poker network low
The challenge for Ontario players is that sharing traffic is currently a no-go.
Canadian federal law doesn’t expressly prohibit online gambling. But it does state provincial governments must conduct and manage all gambling or “lottery schemes.”
Since the Alcohol and Gaming Commission’s regulations do not permit traffic sharing with sites outside of Ontario, NorthStar may end up on its own.
But, having an iPoker platform in Ontario might prompt other operators to join the network and add their offerings to the mix. As mentioned, Coolbet and Bet365, which both operate legally in the province, could also bring poker to Ontario.