Ontario iGaming Operators List Released, 16 Authorized Platforms
Posted: March 23, 2022, 9:57 a.m.
Last update: March 23, 2022, 12:57 p.m.
Ontario iGaming is coming, whether critics like it or not, on Monday, April 4th.
Canada’s most populous province last July proposed allowing online casino sites. The Legislative Assembly wants to bring online gamblers who have gambled on offshore sites into a regulated environment, which additionally generates tax revenue for the province.
There is a lot of opposition to legalizing iGaming and welcoming foreign interactive gaming operators. But the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) says such platforms are still on track to launch in less than two weeks. The regulator has approved 16 iGaming operators.
These are Annexio (LottoGo), BetMGM, Coolbet, FanDuel, Fitzdares, bet365, LeoVegas, WSOP, Ontario Lottery and Gaming, PointsBet, Rivalry, Royal Panda, Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers Ontario), theScore, Unibet and 888.
To legally access venues on April 4, players must be at least 19 years old and physically located within provincial borders. iGaming businesses will be subject to a 20% tax on their gross gaming revenue.
US citizens welcome
The AGCO also confirmed this week that anyone 19 and older, regardless of residency, will be allowed to gamble online in the province. This means US residents will be allowed to venture into Ontario to place their sports bets and gamble online.
Ontario shares borders with Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Only Michigan and Pennsylvania currently have iGaming legal. But Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York each have legal online sports betting. Ohio legalized online sports betting late last year, but operations have yet to go live.
Early next month, residents of Canada’s southern neighbor will be able to venture across the border, open their mobile devices and start placing sports bets and spinning interactive slot machines.
A player’s residency status is not a factor in whether they can play on websites offered by registered and authorized operators,” explained the AGCO. “The requirement is that players must be physically in Ontario to play legally.”
Although a player must be in Ontario to place a bet, their accounts will be accessible as long as they are physically outside of Ontario. Scheduling of deposits and withdrawals, for example, will be possible outside of Ontario.
Delay efforts continue
Although the April 4 launch of iGaming and online sports betting in Ontario seems inevitable, the land-based gaming industry continues to urge provincial authorities to reconsider the 20% GGR tax on mobile transactions.
Companies like the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, Canada’s largest gaming company, say the low tax on mobile games puts brick-and-mortar casinos at a disadvantage. Ontario taxes the land game GGR at 55%.
Proponents of iGaming say the debut of regulated sites will simply provide those who already participate in offshore internet gambling with a safer option. AGCO has issued numerous publicity guarantees that seek to limit how iGaming companies market their operations.
iGaming companies are prohibited from advertising incentives, bonuses and credits anywhere other than on their interactive gaming platform website or through direct marketing. “Free” shall also mean free, which means that such promotions must not come with the caveat that the player is risking their own money or incurring a loss to receive the “free” credits.