Ontario is the only province in Canada that has decided to open its market to foreign companies and allow operators to provide their services in the country. Instead of the classic licensing process, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) spent two years developing a special system that allows them to control and support the online casino Ontario industry, while making it liberal and competitive.
Up to first $500
*New customers only. 100% match bonus based on first deposit of C$10+.
Ontario is making history as the only province in Canada to open its market to foreign companies and allow operators from abroad to provide their services in the country. This marks a radical shift from traditional policy that has kept the Canadian market predominantly domestic for decades. Ontario’s decision is sure to have wide-reaching consequences for both the provincial and national economy, as well as for consumers who will benefit from increased competition and better access to products and services.
iGaming Ontario is a gambling market operating under the AGCO, which registers Ontario casinos’ online companies and allows them to provide gambling services to Ontarians. iGaming Ontario then signs a contract with each interested operator and oversees their operations, thereby monitoring changes in the gambling industry and managing the gambling sector in the province.
Both B2C and B2B companies can register with the AGCO. To do so, they need to obtain certification for their products and devices from an independent laboratory and provide a list of required documents, such as an application and information about the company and persons associated with it, pay a fee and sign an agreement with iGaming Ontario.
The annual fee is CAD 100,000 ($77,348) per site for operators, and B2B vendors are divided into two categories, gambling equipment manufacturers pay CAD 15,000 ($11,602) and equipment and service providers pay CAD 3,000 ($2,320).
The potential size of Ontario’s recently-opened iGaming market has caused quite a stir, and for good reason: Ontario residents alone spend nearly $1 billion a year on online gambling. With such significant financial and other interests at stake, it makes sense that decision-makers are paying attention and taking action.
The two biggest recent legislative reforms for Canadian iGaming in the last twelve months have been the legalization of betting on single sporting events on August 27, 2021; and the launch of Ontario’s new regulated iGaming regime on April 4, 2022.
These reforms work together to take a big step toward curbing the unregulated gray market in which many Canadians turn to gambling and betting. For the first time, private B2C iGaming operators can register in Ontario to sell directly and take bets in one of the largest regulated iGaming markets in North America.
Now that the provinces can offer betting on individual events, Ontario’s iGaming regime can truly compete with the unregulated gray industry. This allows registered iGaming operators to legally offer new online casinos in Ontario that many consumers already know and use.
Legislation in Ontario
The province of Ontario generates the most revenue from gambling, with 35% of the total revenue of all Canadian provinces. The following article looks at Ontario legislation as an illustrative example of how Canadian gambling is regulated.
There are three regulators in Ontario, all of them government regulators:
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (regulator)
- Provincial authorities
- Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (operator)
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is a provincial regulatory institution founded in 1998. The organization regulates alcohol, gambling, and horse racing in the province. It also issues licenses for charity lotteries. Previously, there were two regulators: the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario and the Gaming Control Commission.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is a government agency that operates land-based gaming venues and websites in the province. Previously, there were two gambling operators: the Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC) and the Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC). The companies merged in 2000.
Gambling in the province is regulated by laws:
- Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act of 1996
- Gaming Control Act of 1992
- Horse Racing Licence Act of 2015
- iGaming Ontario 2022
All laws have additional provisions for specific aspects of gambling.
The Gaming Situation in Ontario
Public companies have been providing gambling services to residents of the province since 1975. An important part of their mission is to divert revenue toward community causes. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is now actively changing its structure and business model in an effort to follow trends.
Ontario gamblers spend $400 million per year on unregulated, fastest-payout online casino sites. Most of the revenue comes from slot machines—88%. Over time, profits have declined because new casinos in Michigan, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. have opened near the border in the U.S.
Accordingly, the provincial authorities are paying a lot of attention to modernizing their lottery system. Ontario online casinos are opening, and a responsible gaming program is being created specifically for the internet space. A private gambling service provider will be chosen and contracted.
The Ontario government has officially opened its market to third-party B2C operators registered with the Ontario Liquor and Gaming Commission. Because of Canada’s Criminal Code, Ontario cannot simply license private iGaming operators to do business in Ontario on a non-interference basis; it must continue to operate and manage the online casinos Ontario offered by registered iGaming operators. Nevertheless, Ontario’s cooperation with registered iGaming operators, rather than competition with them, makes sense for the iGaming industry in Canada. Private operators are interested in innovating to provide consumers with the best possible gaming experience, and players in Ontario have consistently favoured the gaming opportunities provided by private offshore iGaming businesses. The Ontario government expects to generate significant tax revenue that was previously lost to these unregulated gambling and betting operators.
In conclusion,Ontario Online Casinos provide a safe, convenient and entertaining way to enjoy the thrill of gaming without the hassle of visiting a physical casino. Players have access to a wide range of games, customer service options, payment methods and bonuses. With the stringent regulations in place to protect players, Ontario Online Casinos guarantee that playing online is as safe as it gets. The convenience offered by these casinos makes them appealing to all types of players from recreational ones to experienced professionals.