Ontario Gov. Creates New Gambling Industry Division

By Ben Hamill - July 09 2021
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Ontario Gov. Creates New Gambling Industry Division

The government of Ontario has announced a new division aimed at regulating the province’s upcoming online gambling market. Unveiled on Tuesday, iGaming Ontario is now a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, also known as AGCO. AGCO oversees all of Ontario’s gambling.

Doug Downey, the Ontario Attorney General, said that the establishment of iGaming Ontario marks another pivotal milestone in ensuring that players have access to safe, regulated online gaming.

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Bill C-218 Revolutionising The Industry

The online gaming scene in Canada is changing thanks to the passing of Bill C-218. Originally introduced in February 2020, it was only put to a vote this year. In April, it was approved by the House of Commons, and just a few weeks ago, the Senate voted on the bill and it was passed into law on 29 June. This bill means that sports betting in the country is legal and a lot less restricted than it has ever been. Previously, all bets had to be parlays with three-event minimums.

It is estimated that this limitation resulted in only CAD500 million of the total CAD1.4 billion that Canadians bet on sports every year being bet on legally. The rest of the bets placed were likely done through illegal channels. Now that Bill C-218 is in effect, players are able to place single wagers on individual games. This is expected to lead to something of a gold rush for internet gaming operators as each province starts to lay out their regulations and will begin accepting licensing applications, which iGaming Ontario will be overseeing.

Transparency From iGaming Ontario

Players and casino operators can expect complete transparency from iGaming Ontario. The regulator has already posted an estimated timeline onto its website. This will keep stakeholders informed about the process of getting their sites up and running. The authority will also work alongside the industry’s stakeholders and members of the public to help develop the regulatory structure that will enable the next steps to be taken.

In the later months of summer and in the beginning of fall, iGaming Ontario is expected to release a draft commercial agreement for operators to review. Following this, all operators interested in offering internet gambling within Ontario can start to submit their applications through the iAGCO online portal. Once approved, operators will be able to sign their respective agreements with iGaming Ontario by fall.

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