Ontario’s Online Gambling Market is Now Open
April 2022 is a big time for the Canadian province of Ontario. After their provincial government revealed plans to discontinue the lottery’s online gambling monopoly in April 2019, they finally opened their iGaming (online gambling) market to the rest of the world on April 4, 2022. Here’s what the groundbreaking regulations mean for both local and overseas players, as well as software providers and online casino operators.
Online gambling’s popularity in Canada
Next to the United States, Canada impressively thrives in the iGaming market, despite not having a thoroughly comprehensive regulatory system. This is because 19.3 million Canadians actively play casino games and place bets online, spending about $4 billion in offshore casinos. Now, four of the country’s largest provinces, namely, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, have started venturing into the iGaming scene.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous and second-largest province by geographical area, has become the first jurisdiction to accept bets in a legal private online gambling market. Their provincial government’s almost three years of preparation allows the locals to enjoy playing and betting with ease—exploring several variants of classic casino games to emerging concepts from India like Teen Patti gold online.
How Ontario prepared their online gambling regulations
Aside from online gambling existing in Ontario years before in the form of offshore casino websites, single-game sports betting was already legal in the entire country since last summer. This sole entertainment didn’t take long to be accompanied by other gaming categories because the province’s regulatory organization, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), soon released its final standards of online betting and gaming in September 2021.
AGCO’s existing Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming was published on July 14, 2021, and the additional rules set forth by the commission only took effect when the regulated iGaming market was launched. This includes the ban on autoplay and a minimum speed of 2.5 seconds for slot games, as well as harm-reduction policies for operators.
AGCO’s harm-reduction standards require operators to add a mechanism that helps them monitor players for ‘experiencing harm’. It could be in the form of displaying ‘responsible gambling messages’, self-exclusion options, or seamless access to 24-hour help resources.
Meet iGaming Ontario
Although it was AGCO that created the final standards for online betting and gaming, it is their subsidiary, iGaming Ontario, that will be in complete control of regulating their most recent market. This includes the task of issuing licenses to software providers and operators.
As of late March 2022, around 25 operators were registered with iGaming Ontario and are expected to be live this April. For software suppliers, on the other hand, well-known giants like Inspired Entertainment, Play’n Go, and High 5 Games were already approved to work with licensed sites.
As a matter of fact, if you have been an online casino player for a while now, High 5 Games shouldn’t be new to you. The content provider proudly confirmed that some of their biggest and most popular works were live with a number of operators. ‘Our games have been on the floor of many Canadian land-based casinos for decades, and now players in Ontario can play them online at responsible gaming sites they know and trust’, the chief executive, Tony Singer, said.
An emerging iGaming market
With years of preparation and solid betting standards, the future of Ontario’s iGaming market is bright. This is because entertainment aside, it gives a plethora of opportunities to both local and overseas companies and individuals. The number of bettors will see a fluctuation since a lot of them are excited to try playing games like slots or Teen Patti gold online.