Torstar, a Canadian publisher that publishes the Toronto Star and numerous other print and online publications in Ontario, recently chose to take advantage of an announcement in the 2020 Ontario budget. The budget included a pledge to allow the licensing of the participation of private operators in a regulated online gaming market.
Torstar’s move will diversify its revenue model in support of the growth of its journalistic endeavours. The future of the company’s new venture is in the hands of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario the Ontario government that is responsible for setting the launch date.
A gaming industry consultant employed by Torstar to assist in the process explained that the revenue the new business will generate has not been determined as the government review process has not been completed.
"We don't know how big the market is going to be in Ontario yet, because it will depend on the consultation process within government, which is about to happen in the next couple of months," Jim Warren told The Canadian Press. "What we do know is that Torstar is looking at diversifying the revenue model of how we fund and pay for reporters, columnists, and editorial staff," he said.
This development is one of several recent diversification announcements by Torstar. In January, the company forged a partnership with retailer Golf Town for the purchase of ScoreGolf Magazine and its related content. In February, Torstar finalised a partnership agreement with Onlia, an online home, and auto insurance provider.
In an official statement, Paul Rivett, the chair and co-owner of Torstar, said that the objective of the project is to “keep dollars in the province” and support the growth of its journalism.
In addition to the Toronto Star Torstar’s publishing arm is responsible for other Ontario publications, including the Hamilton Spectator, and more than 70 weekly community newspapers.