The Canadian province of Ontario has officially launched its legal and regulated online gambling market on Monday, April 4.
Starting April 4, people residing in the largest province of Canada can legally gamble online - on both online casino games and sports betting via their computer or mobile device.
The opening comes almost three years after the provincial government revealed plans to end the lottery's monopoly on online gambling back in April 2019. The government introduced legislation to allow for a licensing regime.
In September 2021, the province published its final standards for online sports betting and gambling. The rules for online gambling include a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds and a ban on autoplay for slots.
iGaming Ontario, the subsidiary of Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), shall be responsible for regulating the newly established market, as well as issuing licenses to suppliers and operators.
Around 1,300 jobs will be created in Ontario as a result of the launch, according to a report by PlayCanada, which tracks the Canadian gaming market.
Prior to the market opening, iGaming Ontario handed out a series of licenses to major brands that were approved to operate in Ontario.
Kindred Group's Unibet, LeoVegas and 888 Holdings all secured licenses to offer online gambling in Ontario, while suppliers such as Play'n GO, Evolution and Relax Gaming have also been approved to work with licensed operators.
More operators and suppliers are expected to jump into the market in the upcoming months. At least 30 have applied for the registration.
Online gambling isn't really a new trend in Ontario. It has been estimated that Ontarians spend around $500 million each year on online gambling, almost completely with companies that operate outside of the province.
Before, those outer sites were not subject to any regulations, but now private operators will be required to register first and pay tax so that they can be allowed legal access to the province.
Not only will Ontario be bestowed with a new revenue stream, but also the market will be able to protect Ontarians by offering a legal alternative to the existing "grey market of online gaming options", says the province.
The new measures "will enable more responsible gaming, prevent underage access, and ensure compliance with applicable laws including anti-money laundering rules and regulations."