Boom, Boom: Ontario Readies for Online Surge

Following the liberalisation of its betting market, Canada’s Ontario provincial government is preparing for an online betting boom by forming a specialised iGaming division.

iGaming Ontario will operate under the wing of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Ontario’s new online gambling market will launch in December this year, spurred by legislation–Bill C-218, or the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act–that now allows single-event betting – overturning antiquated curbs that only permitted a multi-betting regime; meaning that legally a punter had to place a minimum of three wagers simultaneously.

“Ontario’s new legal iGaming market will create new opportunities for Ontario businesses and a better, safer gaming experience for players,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy.

“A competitive, regulated online gaming market will provide a safer alternative to the unregulated, grey market websites that currently exist – and which may lack proper consumer protections or responsible gaming measures.

“A new legal market would also generate revenue for the province to invest in supporting jobs and businesses, supporting people and their families, and improving and strengthening critical public services for a post-Covid world.”

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, meanwhile, will continue to run its own online offerings.

Birgitte Sand is the province’s iGaming commercial project lead. She will coordinate ongoing meetings with the online gambling industry, First Nations communities and other betting stakeholders to finalize rules and social responsibilities for the market.

“Following parliament’s historic vote to lift the prohibition on single-event sports wagering last month, the establishment of iGaming Ontario is another pivotal milestone in our work to ensure people have access to a safe and regulated online gaming market by the end of the year,” said Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey.

“We are determined to work with industry, responsible gaming advocates and regulatory partners to ensure Ontario is a world leader in building a safe online gaming environment that meets consumer expectations.”

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