Ontario to Launch Online Gaming, Sports Betting in April

Published: January 29, 2022 at 08:08.

Last updated on: January 29, 2022 at 5:15 am.

A new era will begin in the Canadian Games in just two months. Ontario officials announced Friday that certified online casino and sports betting operators will be able to launch their products starting April 4.

Welcome to Ontario
Ontario officials are unveiling a new Ontario welcome sign in November 2018. Starting in April, Canada’s most populous province will begin welcoming legal online gaming operators. (Photo: Ontario.ca)

iGaming Ontario (iGO), a subsidiary of the Commission on Alcohol and Gaming of Ontario (ACGO), is announced. Authorized operators will need to sign an operating agreement with iGO before they can start operating.

“Consumers can be assured that companies that have successfully entered the New Ontario market will meet the game’s stringent standards, operator integrity, fairness, player protection and social responsibility, allowing all players to play with confidence.” Martha Otton, CEO of iGO, said in a statement.

The launch is expected to bring many companies that have worked in licensed environments in the United States. External operators that were present in the current “grey market” environment could also be approved.

Ontario will be Canada’s largest regional market for gaming and sports betting. It is also one of the largest companies in North America. With a population of 14.8 million, Ontario is larger than US states such as Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Responsible gaming practices are a priority

In order to agree to offer online games in Ontario, operators must agree to follow the AGCO Online Gaming Standards. This includes becoming certified through the RG Check initiative of the Responsible Gaming Council and maintaining that accreditation.

They should also implement “Prohibition of Problem Gambling and Responsible Gambling Campaigns” that strike a balance between promoting responsible play and promotional activities. They should also participate in a “central self-exclusion program” for bettors and share player data – stripped of all identifiable aspects – to help research issues and responsible gaming issues.

On Wednesday, Penn National Gaming said Score Digital Sports Ventures, which operates the TheScore Bet app, received the designation.

“We have chosen to undergo RG Check Accreditation to ensure that we are in a position to offer our players the best and safest possible experience,” said Josh Siddsworth, TheScore Bet’s general counsel and chief compliance officer. “It was important to us that we completed this certification prior to launching theScore Bet in our home market of Ontario.”

After Ontario officials made their announcement, some game companies came forward to voice their plans as well.

This included the Canadian division of PointsBet.

“Between our innovative in-house technology platform that allows us to customize and tailor our app to the needs of the local consumer and offer revolutionary in-game betting opportunities, as well as our unique partnerships deeply rooted in sports in our country, offer an unparalleled form of entertainment for Canadian sports bettors,” said Scott Vanderwill, PointsBet Canada CEO in a statement.

Mixed response to the north

The expansion of online gaming is an initiative supported by the Canadian Gaming Association.

In a statement Friday, CGA President and CEO Paul Burns called the new iGO a “major milestone” for the county.

The move to create a regulated iGaming marketplace in this province will ensure that Ontarians have access to safe and legal online gambling options while encouraging investment and job creation in Ontario,” He said. “We finally have the opportunity to protect the economic benefits that will begin to flow to licensed game operators and local government.”

But not everyone in the Canadian toy industry applauded the move.

Tony Rodeo, CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corp. , in a statement Friday, said the company supports “iGaming in the first place” and pledged to work with leaders in the provincial government to develop a system that provides a “level playing field” that benefits everyone. Governorate.

“Whether online or in person, Great Canadian supports the rules of fair and competitive gaming, and unfortunately the current iGaming framework falls far short of that,” said Rodeo, a former Caesars CEO. “We are disappointed by today’s decision, which puts thousands of well-paying jobs and billions of dollars in government revenue at risk for the unemployed, online gaming.”

Canadian wild game struggles

Land-based casinos in Canada have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. While US casinos have reopened after being closed for only a few months, many casinos north of 49y Parallel did not open until last year.

And since the omicron variant has caused significant spikes in cases, it has led to more lockdowns in Canada. Ontario officials even ordered the closure of land-based casinos again earlier this month, recently giving them the green light to resume operations at half capacity from Monday.

Includes 14 GCGC gaming venues.

Rodeo said the suspended launch of online games now comes as workers “spent two years worrying about their ability to return to work and provide for their families.”

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