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Ontario set for online gambling launch

Last Updated on by James King

The Canadian province of Ontario is set to launch online gambling on April 4, after this was approved by iGaming Ontario (IGO).

It comes as somewhat of a delay in the market after the go-ahead was originally planned for December 21 of last year, however, it does mean there is more time for approved operators to put processes in place.

Over the last couple of years, the Canadian online gambling market has been slowly growing, however, in a number of provinces, legislation has been a problem, with there only being a few where it is legal.

Ontario set for online gambling launch


New regulation comes with strict policing

Following the news that this has been approved, it means that there is stringent legislation in place that respective organisations will need to adhere to. In particular, a lot of attention will be paid to the prevention of underage gambling and also protecting vulnerable people.

This is a view that has been particularly voiced by iGO executive director Martha Otton, who commented: “Consumers can be assured that companies who successfully enter the new Ontario market will have met rigorous standards of game and operator integrity, fairness, player protections, and social responsibility, allowing all players to play with confidence.

She continued: “Prevention of underage access, ensuring compliance with applicable laws including anti-money laundering rules and regulations, and measures to enable more responsible gambling are just a few of the assurances consumers can expect in the new market as of April 4.

“Today, most internet gaming by Ontarians takes place on websites not conducted and managed by the province. Our new internet gaming market will give consumers enhanced entertainment choice, support the growth of a new, legal market and generate revenue that can help fund programmes and services that benefit all of us.”


First operator in place

Penn National Gaming, via its subsidiary, theScore has become the initial private market operator to secure a license in the province, which has been greeted with particular enthusiasm.

Penn president and chief executive Jay Snowden said: “Launching theScore Bet in Ontario will mark an exciting expansion of our online gaming business into a major new market where we already have an established mobile sports media product in theScore app and a wide base of loyal users.

“Today’s news is very exciting, and I would like to recognize and congratulate the government of Ontario and the AGCO and iGaming Ontario for their dedication to creating a modern open and regulated sports betting and igaming market.”