iGaming Ontario Adjusts Online Poker Rules

By Ben Hamill - March 04 2022

iGaming Ontario Adjusts Online Poker RulesiGaming Ontario, the new regulatory group and subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission Of Ontario (AGCO,) hasn’t been around for very long. But even still, it seems as if the organisation is keen on taking control of the iGaming industry. The group announced that there will be changes made to the local rules of online Poker, starting April 4th. Namely, players will no longer be allowed to participate in international pools.

To some Ontario Poker players the announcement is coming as a shock, but iGaming Ontario has been quick to assure that the decission isn’t being made lightly. A spokesperson stressed that the move was discussed as long ago as 2019 but is only now being put into practice after further consideration.

No More International Play

To be clear, come April 4th Ontario players will only be allowed to play in the provincial pools, with all international pools being suspended. Thus, all international companies will simply no longer be allowed to offer their services in the province.

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The spokesperson added that at first law adjustments around online Poker were going to be less strict but added that ultimately it was decided that the matter can’t be dealt with lightly. In the end, the spokesperson concluded, it simply became a matter of applying the solution that had the least number of loopholes.

Of course, not everyone is happy about the overwhelming change being made. The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation immediately came forward to denounce the adjustment, saying that the law will do more harm than it will good. A company spokesperson offered the counterpoint that banning international companies will probably do nothing more than push Ontario players to look for unregulated offshore alternatives.

Other Drastic Consequences

The decission by iGaming Ontario will have consequences that aren’t actually felt for some time. Global behemoth Flutter Entertainment applied for a local license, declaring that it intends on moving its FanDuel sports division to the area. By extension, Flutter Entertainment’s other subsidiary, PokerStars.com, might also make its way to the region. If that is the case, PokerStars.com would very much feel the impact of the law alteration.

More to the point, local Poker players are soon going to discover something very disheartening. Namely that the average pool they play in will have shrunk by around 10% to 20% come April 4th. Online room availability is also expected to drastically reduce.

It all adds up to make the decision by iGaming Ontario seem very ill advised.