Ontarians are less than a couple of months away from having their own, regulated online casino market. This was previously expected to take place at the end of 2021, but was hampered by numerous delays. iGaming Ontario, operating under the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Canada (AGCC), made the recent announcement that the province’s online casino market would go live on April 4th 2022.
iGaming Ontario explained that it reached this point following exhaustive consultations with private operators who were given the opportunity to share any of their concerns prior to the launch date.
For their part, the operators with a stake in the emergence of this new regulated environment appear thrilled at the opportunity to officially market their offerings to the province’s large population of online casino enthusiasts.
Long Time Coming
iGaming Ontario cautioned that while April 4th has been marked as the official opening date, the possibility of further delays still looms. This might not surprise anyone as Ontario began treading the road to iGaming regulation over a decade ago in 2010.
The rapid, recent developments surrounding the issue can be largely attributed to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLGC) revelations around gambling spending, which showed that close to $400 million a year flows into unregulated, offshore sites. This likely gave the province the necessary push it needed to expedite the matter so that it can collect revenue that will ultimately benefit Ontario residents.
Martha Otton, the Executive Director at iGaming Ontario executive director guaranteed that this decision is being approached with the appropriate care and seriousness and that those operators who want to participate in the new market would be subject to stringent standards.
According to Plan
Otton added that the province’s online casino market would prioritise social responsibility and safety within a fully regulated environment. This, she said, would afford players peace of mind, allowing them to fully enjoy their experience.
Steven Salz, the CEO of Rivalry also shared his thoughts on the announcement, expressing excitement at the news as his company is poised to introduce new services to the market, Rivalry obtained its license to operate as a sports betting operator in October 2021. Salz pointed out that an open market is the ideal strategy for Ontario, and that both businesses and residents would reap substantial rewards.