It’s news that is bound to shake up Canada’s online casino industry: Ontario officially becomes the first province in the country to legalize gambling sites.
Anxious to bring order to this very particular market, Doug Ford’s government intends to take specific measures in the coming months. We take a look at this hot topic through this article!
According to the Ministry of Finance, Ontarians spend more than 500 million dollars each year on online gambling. The problem is that the province receives only a fraction of this amount.
Until now, the Lotteries and Gaming Corporation was effectively the only entity allowed to offer online gaming through the Play OLG site. This platform has never been a match for the other online casinos available, which offer their services from abroad and are licensed by authorities based in Malta, Curacao, and Gibraltar.
Having revealed its intentions as soon as the 2020 budget was announced, the Ford government now wants to regain control of the market. To this end, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has been mandated to issue a licence to gaming sites deemed trustworthy.
What are the consequences?
With this new law, foreign operators will no longer be able to take advantage of the semi-legal situation in Ontario. In order to be licensed in the province, each online casino will have to obtain prior approval from the CAJO. Access to the Ontario market will, of course, be in exchange for a financial consideration.
In this way, Ontario will finally be able to benefit from the revenues generated by the online gambling sector. As for players, they will be assured of betting on platforms that are entirely legal and that practice a responsible gambling policy.
What about other provinces?
By becoming the first province to allow private operators, Ontario is likely to be emulated. For the time being, Quebec has nevertheless reaffirmed its monopoly through the Loto-Québec site, ignoring the revenues generated by foreign sites.
In Alberta, the trend is to follow the Quebec model by creating its own gaming platform. We will have to wait for the first results of the Ontario legislation before seeing any changes in the other Canadian provinces.