Online Casino Gaming & Sports Betting Coming to Ontario in April
By April 4, Ontario will offer online sports betting and casino gaming to players in the province.
iGaming Ontario announced late last week that online casino gaming and sports betting are coming to the province on April 4. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario subsidiary have approved operators who must sign an operating agreement in order to launch services.
Ready to Launch
During the announcement, Martha Otton, the iGaming Ontario executive director, stated that consumers can rest easy knowing that the companies that offer services within the market will have met the tough standards of integrity along with player protections, fairness, and social responsibility.
With the launch, several companies that operate such services in the United States are expected to launch in the province. It is believed that those who operated in the gray market will also vie for a license.
The population of Ontario is quite large and will create a huge market for services. There are around 14.8 million people in the province and its online gaming market is expected to blossom as soon as services begin.
For an operator to be approved, they must agree to the online gaming standards in the province. Such details include gaining accreditation within the Responsible Gaming Council’s RG Check initiative and ensure that the accreditation stands.
Operators must also complete problem gambling prevention and responsible gambling campaigns and ensure that there is a balance between responsible play promotion and promotional options. License holders also need to provide self-exclusion options for players and player data must be shared to help the province complete research on responsible gaming and problem gambling issues.
Gaining Accreditation and Support
Penn National Gaming announced early last week that its company Score Digital Sports Ventures gained the RG Check Accreditation. The company is responsible for theScore Bet sports betting services. General counsel and chief compliance officer for theScore Bet, Josh Sidsworth, stated that the company gained accreditation to ensure they are positioned to offer services in the province.
Other companies have come forward to state their intention to earn the RG Check option. PointsBet is ready to get started as well with CEO for PointsBet Canada Scott Vanderwel pointing out the company’s intentions.
PointsBet plans to offer its in-house platform that provides quality customization with a tailored app based on local consumer needs. The company also has partnerships with Canadian sports that will be beneficial is licensing is approved.
As company start to show their commitment, support is being thrown their way via various organizations. The Canadian Gaming Association is ready to see the province expand to online casino gaming and sports betting.
CGA president and CEO Paul Burns commented after the announcement that the change is a major milestone for Ontario. The new market will ensure that people in the province have the ability to access safe and legal gambling services. At the same time, the new industries will encourage job creation and investment in Ontario.
While support is there, some are opposed. The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, a major land-based operator of Canada, including Ontario, are not happy with the change. CEO of the company, Tony Rodio, commented last week that iGaming is supported in principal but are disappointed in the decision. Great Canadian Gaming feels that online gaming will put thousands of jobs at risk along with billions of land-based revenues.
Rodio said the company plans to work with leaders in Ontario to create a system that will create a level playing field that will be beneficial to the entire province.