No Canadian province has as many opportunities to gamble as Ontario. You can choose from luxury casino resorts, horse racing tracks, OTB offices and a huge list of bingo halls. Add to this online gambling, sports betting (via Pro-Line), poker and a thriving lottery.
With 25 casinos, there are more than 40,000 slots and video lottery terminals in this province. The venues range in size from the mega-resorts at Niagara Falls and Windsor to mid-sized tribal casinos. You can play slots from all the big game producers, many of which have progressive jackpots.
This page has you covered for every type of gambling in Ontario. The best casinos, poker rooms, and racetracks are covered below. Details of the laws governing both live and online gambling in the province are also there.
Until 1985, gambling in Ontario consisted of pari-mutuel wagering on horse races and games of chance at a summer fair like Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition.
Ontario is in the midst of regulating online gambling, which means legal online casinos like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM Casino could be available in Ontario.
Ontario gambling laws: Which types of gambling are legal?
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) does more than simply oversee Ontario’s gambling laws. This commission operates some 25 casinos and racetracks — and directly controls the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
Ontario passed the Gaming Control Act in 1992. The gambling age is 19 or older. Significant fines were introduced for casinos allowing underage gamblers in an amendment to the main act in 1997. This act allowed for commercial and charitable casinos, bingo halls and charitable gambling, sports betting on multiple games and lottery activity.
In most of Canada, online gambling is in a grey area. The national laws predate the internet. They do not make it illegal to gamble at offshore sites — as long as the sites are not located in Canada. Ontario is one of a few provinces (along with British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba) to have its own online gambling portal. PlayOLG has casino games, sports betting and video poker games.
It is estimated the OLG turns over $1.8 billion in gambling profits from these operations to the Ontario government annually.
The OLG has also committed to a gambling expansion and modernization plan that is expected to include an expansion of gambling operations at Woodbine Racetrack in the Greater Toronto Area and several other properties.
Legal gambling in Ontario
- Casinos: You have a choice of casinos that are operated by the government and tribal casinos. The province’s casinos range from luxury resorts in Toronto and Niagara Falls to smaller operations around the province.
- Sports betting: Only wagers on two or more events are permitted in ON, in line with the national laws. You can access an app for this via the PlayOLG gambling portal that allows for parlay bets. Various types of bets are available, including win, totals (over/under) and props using ProLine.
- Horse racing bets: Ontario has a lot of racetracks. You will find thoroughbred, standardbred and harness racing in the warmer months. OTB offices allow you to bet on national and international races. Horse racing bets are pooled, using the pari-mutuel system.
- Lottery: There are draws every night of the week, many with multimillion-dollar prize pools in Ontario. They include the “Lotto Max,” which has a jackpot that can reach $70 million. You can also play keno and instant games on the Ontario Lottery.
- Poker: You will find poker rooms at many of the larger casinos around Ontario. Cash games and tournaments featuring Texas Hold ’em, pot-limit Omaha and other poker variants run 24/7.
- Online casino gambling: PlayOLG is the Ontario gambling portal. It offers casino games, slots, video poker and sports betting options. Compared to the offshore brands, the selection of games and promotions is limited.
- Bingo/charitable gambling: Depending on the size of prizes offered, charitable gambling is licensed via the provincial government or the municipalities. There are bingo halls in every town and city in the province.
Live casinos in Ontario
Ontario is packed with casinos. The biggest is owned by the provincial government via the OLGC and has thousands of slots and table games. There are smaller casinos on native reservations.
Here are the biggest casinos in Ontario:
- Fallsview Casino: 6380 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls. Open 24 hours a day. This casino has been one of the dominant buildings in the Niagara skyline since it opened in 2004. With more than 3,000 slots and 130 table games, Fallsview Casino is huge. A separate poker room is available. The location also boasts a hotel, 18 restaurants, 30 shops, a spa, concert showroom, and entertainment centre.
- Caesars Windsor Casino: 377 Riverside Drive East, Windsor. Open 24 hours a day. This casino opened in 1994, on the waterline opposite Detroit. It is operated by Caesars Entertainment and owned by the OLGC. This is a large casino, with 2,600 slots, 95 gambling tables and a separate 14-table poker room. The hotel is split over two towers that contain more than 750 rooms between them. This resort includes multiple restaurants, venues for music and shows, and a spa.
- Casino Woodbine: 555 Rexdale Blvd., Toronto. Open 24 hours a day. There has been a racetrack at this site since 1956. The large casino was a later addition, opening in the year 2000. There are more than 2,900 slots, electronic table games (including dealer-assisted stadium games), table games and a poker room at this site. You can also bet on the live horse races, or remotely on races elsewhere.
- Casino Rama Resort: 5899 Rama Road, Orillia. Open 24 hours a day. This is the largest tribal casino in Ontario. It is jointly owned by the OLGC and Rama First Nation. Rama resort is located on the northern shore of Lake Simcoe. It opened in 1996, with the latest expansion completed in 2013. There are more than 2,500 slots to choose from, plus 110 table games and a 12-table poker room. The resort also includes a hotel, concert venues, a spa, restaurants and retail facilities.
- Casino Niagara: 5705 Falls Ave., Niagara Falls. Open 24 hours a day. This OLGC-owned casino initially started as a temporary facility back in 1996. It is a mid-sized commercial casino with 1,300 slots, 40 table games and a poker room. This casino also offers sports betting. In addition to the games, you will find bars, restaurants and a buffet.
All Ontario Casino Reviews
There are many more casinos in Ontario. They include the brand-new Pickering Resort, Hard Rock Casino, Georgian Downs Casino and more. In addition to these large resorts, you will find smaller and mid-sized casinos in cities around Ontario. Some are operated by the OLGC, with others tribally owned and managed.
Online casino games in Ontario
Ontario residents can play online casino games, video poker and bingo and bet on sports at the government-owned PlayOLG. This site was developed by casino giants IGT and High 5 Games.
You can access this portal via your desktop or a mobile device. There are around 100 casino games, covering popular table game formats like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat online. Slots include electronic versions of classics you will find at live casinos in Ontario, including Wonder Woman and Da Vinci Diamonds. There is a live dealer casino option, video poker, and bingo.
Ontario poker rooms
You have a choice of live poker rooms in Ontario. Many of the big commercial casinos have dedicated rooms for Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, and other poker variants. Tournaments include daily, weekly and special events — with qualifiers to big pro events like the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker also available.
Caesars Windsor has a popular poker room. It is located on the second floor of the resort and features 14 tables, with a busy schedule of tournaments plus cash games running around the clock. There is a mix of bounty tournaments, ladies-only events, and deep-stacked games.
The poker room at Casino Niagara is named LEV2L. It is open around the clock and features 26 tables. This room caters to high-stakes players and offers a bad beat jackpot for players who get beaten holding quad kings or better.
Other venues with busy poker rooms include the Casino Rama, Hard Rock Casino Ottawa, and the Gateway Casino Innisfil. Many Ontario residents head to the bigger offshore poker sites. Big-name brands that could come to Ontario if they legalize online gambling include PokerStars, WSOP, and BetMGM Poker.
Is sports betting legal in Ontario?
Betting on single games is not possible anywhere in Canada under national law. Ontario has put legislation in place for different variations of parlay betting. Called Pro-Line, it allows you to bet on parlays of two-plus games in different ways. There are totals (over/unders) and props variations, as well as home/away-style multiples bets.
Bills to expand sports betting have been introduced, though at the time of writing none have made it through the committee.
You can bet on horse races both live and via simulcast in Ontario. Bets are pooled (pari-mutuel format). Races from Canada, the US, and around the world are streamed to OTB offices and racetracks around the province.
If and when full sportsbooks are allowed, the larger casinos in Ontario are in a great position to take advantage. Expect to see Las Vegas-style sportsbooks appear in big casinos like Fallsview, Caesars Windsor, and Casino Rama.
The OLGC has raised an impressive $55 billion for various causes and economic development. The Ontario lottery started in 1975 with the “Wintario” game. Today there are multiple draws, instant games (including scratch cards), casino games, sports betting via parlays and poker available online. Retail outlets sell tickets to draws that can pay life-changing money in various formats.
Here are the biggest games:
- Lotto Max: The jackpot for this draw grows until it hits a staggering $70 million. When the main prize hits $50 million, extra money is diverted into additional $1 million prizes. You get three sets of tickets for $5. Draws take place every Tuesday and Friday.
- Lotto 6/49: This draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. The main prize starts at $5 million and will continue to grow until it is won. A $1 million prize is guaranteed on each draw.
- Daily Grand: This draw awards $1,000 per day for life for the jackpot winners. There are three additional prizes of $25,000 per year for life for each draw. Tickets are $3, with the numbers drawn every Monday and Thursday.
Keno, Ontario 49 and instant win games give you extra ways to win jackpot prizes. The free online casino games section of the OLGC site includes slots, table games and video poker options (including live dealer games). You can bet on sports via the lottery portal, with the Pro-Line app available to download for those who enjoy regular sports betting.
The Ontario Lottery has a community sponsorship program. This primarily funds community festivals, including local festivals and events, plus civic events in areas with OLGC operations.
Bingo and charitable gambling in Ontario
Charitable gambling licenses are issues by either the province or municipalities in Ontario. Licenses are required for bingo, super jackpot bingo, social gaming events, raffles (physical tickets or electronic), charitable lotteries and break-open (prepackaged bingo) tickets. Small wheel of fortune-style games can also be licensed.
If the event has a prize pool of under $5,500 ($50,000 for lotteries) then it can be licensed by individual municipalities. For bigger events, the AGCO is responsible for licensing.
There are bingo halls throughout the province, which are operated by registered charities or tribes.
Racetracks and OTB offices in Ontario
Ontario has multiple horse racing tracks. This is the only province to have held a Breeders Cup event. Tracks vary in size from the huge casino racetrack resorts like Woodbine Park to smaller tracks that feature a mix of harness horseraces and speedway motorbike events.
You will also find off-track betting options. These are called “Teletheatres” by the OLGC. They allow bets via pari-mutuel pools on races throughout Canada, the US, and selected events from around the world.
From the giant resorts of Windsor, Toronto and Niagara to the multiple smaller tribal casinos, casino players in Ontario have some of the best casino venues in Canada to choose from. Add in poker rooms, horse racing (including OTB offices) a lottery and charitable gambling, and the choices become world-class.
The PlayOLG portal gives access to online gambling in Ontario. While the list of slots, casino table games and sports bets is smaller than those at offshore sites – the profits do stay in Ontario. The legal gambling age in Ontario is 19, though lottery tickets is 18+.