After three years of preparations, Ontario’s provincial government finally allowed online gaming in April 2022.
Many fantasy sports websites and online sportsbooks also received working clearance. Until then, the local lottery was the only form of gambling available online.
Ontario’s Gaming Market: Regulated, Yet Liberal
As online gambling became legal in Ontario, one local company is tightening its ranks to face fierce competition.
Rivalry, a Toronto-based online gaming business, is ready to take on the whales: Bragg Gaming Group, Penn National Gaming, Rush Street Interactive, MGM Resorts International, and Gan Limited.
Until recently, its developers had to sell their products to competitors because online games of fortune and sports bets were forbidden in Ontario.
The big players made their moves
Bragg revealed that it had signed a content distribution agreement with 888casino in Ontario, while Rush Street Interactive struck a partnership deal with BetRivers online casino and sportsbook.
Penn National Gaming launched theScore Bet sportsbook and casino app, and BetMGM also unveiled one.
Gan Limited, a leading online gaming software developer, launched an innovative online sportsbook and gaming app called Coolbet.
IGO’s stricter regulations
All online gambling operators must be in good standing with iGaming Ontario (IGO), a subsidiary of the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission, and observe its regulations.
For example, one of IGO’s requirements prohibits autoplay and sets a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds for online slots.
Ontarians can now gamble safely online
With the legalization of online gaming, the province’s authorities hope to tap on the half a billion dollars that Ontarians spend annually gambling online.
As Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers set foot in the province, Ontarians will no longer risk playing on “grey” sportsbooks and casino sites.
Most offshore casinos accessible from Ontario had loose regulations, whereas now, allOntario casino apps are subject to stricter identity verification requirements.
The main problem with these sites was that their age verification procedures are too liberal, making it possible for under-aged players to open accounts and bet.
Ontario’s iGaming operators enjoy tax privileges
As online gaming is picking up speed in Ontario, the province’s 71 land-based casinos are already under pressure to retain their customers.
Ontario’s 16 online casinos and sportsbooks pay only 20% profit tax, while their land-based competitors are slapped with 55%.
As they pay lower taxes, online gaming operators now have more free capital to launch aggressive advertising campaigns on the local TV channels and radio stations.
Are licensing procedures too relaxed?
Local experts have voiced concerns that Ontario’s online gaming watchdog is too generous in its licensing policy and can accidentally greenlight operators that previously worked in the grey sector.
What does the future hold?
Ontario’s online gambling scene resembles a boiling caldron, where operators desperately try to secure their ground.
Over time, the big bang’s initial energy will start dissipating, and the number of online casinos and sportsbooks will become constant.
iGaming Ontario will probably introduce stricter licensing requirements as soon as the market’s volatility begins to subside.