The Canadian Criminal Code prohibits all gambling in Canada but allows provincial governments to conduct and manage gaming within their territories. However, there are restrictions, such as banning provinces from exploring horse racing and parlay betting. Ontario, the largest province in Canada, recently launched its regulated online gambling market, allowing residents to bet on sports and play casino games for real money online.
The province’s internet gambling regulator, iGaming Ontario, aims to create over 1,300 jobs due to the new sector. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will license and oversee suppliers and operators in this market. Sixteen operators have set up shop to operate in Ontario, with many more registering with the AGCO.
Analysts predict that Ontario’s population of fifteen million should generate around $800 million in gross gaming revenues in 2022. Ontario published player-safety standards for online gaming and betting in September 2021. The province’s land-based gambling industry, regulated by the AGCO, includes casinos, lotteries, charitable gaming, and slot machines at horse-racing tracks.
While most in the gambling sphere are happy about Ontario’s online gaming market, some in the horse-racing industry are concerned about the impact of sports betting expansion on their sector.
Overall, Ontario’s launch of its regulated online gambling market signals a significant shift in its gambling industry, creating new opportunities for operators and raising concerns for other sectors.