Great Canadian Gaming Corporation Warns Of iGaming Consequences

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation

The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation feels that online gambling legalization in Ontario will harm the land-based industry.

When online casino gambling was being considered in several states across the United States, some land-based operators were leery, fearful that the iGaming industry would harm the land-based one. This argument is still used today across the nation and has seemingly bleed into Canada as well. Just this week, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation decided to warn the government of Ontario and Premier Doug Ford of iGaming legalization and how the land-based casino sector would be negatively affected.

Probe Conducted, Outlook Not So Good

Great Canadian is the largest brick-and-mortar casino operator in Ontario. The company recently had an investigation conducted by an independent group regarding how online gambling would impact the land-based industry.

According to the findings, the province would see tax revenues decline by around $438 million annually. The review revealed that retail casino gamblers would make the switch to online gaming which would cut into land-based earnings.

The research concluded that the reduction in gaming taxes is a result of Ontario offering a lower tax rate on online gaming revenues than the land-based operations. The casinos operated by Great Canadian must pay a 55% provincial tax based on gross revenue earnings. For online casinos, that amount is much lower, at just 20%.

Currently, the land-based casinos are also losing money due to COVID-19. As the virus gains ground in the country, facilities have been forced to close to slow the spread. The venues will remain closed in Ontario until January 26 at the earliest.

Online Gaming Companies Have Their Say

Of course, online gambling companies are going to respond to the claims made by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, and it is against the assumptions from the report. One applicant interested in online gambling in Ontario is DraftKings. The company spoke out stating that players will just move from offshore operators to regulated ones, not taking away from land-based operations.

DraftKings Senior Vice President Jeffrey Haas stated that players will make the shift online to regulated sites and those who normally visit a brick-and-mortar venue will continue to do so. Tony Rodio, an industry veteran and chief executive of Great Canadian stated that he is not opposed to online gaming but feels the tax setup is disadvantageous to land-based operators.

Rodio pointed out that the process needs to be considered equally and the setup of the online industry completed in such a way that it will be fair for all gambling operators. The company recommends that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation start over when it comes to how the online industry will be set up.

The operator is worried that a large offering of online gambling licensing will result in a larger online gambling market and land-based venues will pay the price. Great Canadian feels that an open-license online gaming model will see the iGaming industry capture a larger share of the full casino market.

Currently, the Ministry of Finance in Ontario is conducting its own review of the impact that online gaming will have on land-based casinos as well as taxes from the industry and society. It is unclear as to when this study will be completed, and findings revealed. Will it show the same outcome as the Great Canadian one or will the findings be different?

It will be interesting to see if officials will take the operator’s suggestions to heart and if any changes will be made regarding how the iGaming industry would be set up in order to see both the online and land-based markets succeed.

Lead Writer: Toby is a very experienced online gambler who particularly enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and guiding them toward more enjoyment in their own play.