Ontario finds itself on the precipice of opening the market for iGaming operators and this has put local authorities under immense strain as they rush to prepare for a new era in the province’s history. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has taken the initiative and released an official guide aimed at guiding companies through the process of obtaining operating licenses.
Interestingly, the AGCO announced that it would be permitting grey market entities to operate in the province. Grey market entities are iGaming operators who offer services within Ontario, but fall into ambiguous territory when it comes to the law.
The guide specifies that grey market organisations must get used to falling in line with a series of strict regulations, or face exclusion.
The guide at a glance
The release of the guide is expected to generate a slew of applications from several companies hoping to secure licenses shortly. They will have to wait though as the application process only kicks off later in 2021.
The guide also lays out stiff punishments for unlicensed operators who will potentially be slapped with a CA$100,000 per annum, per gambling site that is being operated penalty. The exact penalty amount is still under review and the AGCO has warned that it may actually be higher.
Once the process begins, prospective operators will work through the newly created iGaming Ontario entity. This new division will assume the responsibility of managing contracts and licensing while the AGCO will focus on regulatory and enforcement matters.
Law of the land
Some additional regulations the AGCO is introducing relate specifically to gambling software and ensuring that it is applied fairly and responsibly. Auto-Play features are now banned in Ontario and each spin must last at least 2.5 seconds. Additionally, split-screen play, where players can gamble on 2 games at once, is also prohibited.